Results tagged ‘ Jim Henderson ’
In the sequel to the pre-All-Star break roster shuffle, the Milwaukee Brewers today announced that they have made a move in an attempt to bolster the big league bullpen.
The move required both a 25-man roster spot as well as a 40-man roster spot. To facilitate those moves, RHP Rob Wooten was optioned to Triple-A Nashville (25-man) and rehabbing right-hander Jim Henderson was placed on the 60-day disabled list (40-man).
All this was done so that the Brewers could select the contract of RHP Jeremy Jeffress.
Jeffress was made headlines more than once in Milwaukee. He was a part of the package of prospects sent to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for Zack Greinke. Earlier this season, he chose to re-sign with the Brewers organization after being designated for assignment by the Toronto Blue Jays and electing free agency after clearing waivers. He also was almost out of baseball completely during his first turn in Milwaukee’s system as he was suspended more than once for marijuana use. By multiple accounts, he’s clear of that recreational drug use though, but is now back on a 40-man roster anyway.
Much more importantly than his off-the-field history is his on-the-field production so far in 2014. In other words, there’s a much better reason that he was added to the 40-man roster this time around.
While pitching for Nashville this season, the former first-round draft pick of the Brewers (16th overall in 2006) has posted the following line:
30 G, 1.51 ERA, 41.2 IP, 0 HR, 45 K, 18 BB, 1.224 WHIP
That’s good for a 9.7 K/9 and a 2.50 K/BB, but it’s also worth noting that he’s been even better recently. Jeffress hasn’t given up a run since June 23rd, a span of nine appearances. He’s only given up two runs in his last 15 games and just three total in his last 24 trips to the mound.
Jeffress has always brought the gas on his fastball, but it will be his ability to command his breaking ball that will translate to big league success. He’s shown the other sought-after ability to miss bats at multiple levels as well, something which would serve him and his new team very well moving forward for the balance of 2014.
As for the others involved, Wooten hasn’t been bad and will likely be back up in September if not sooner. In fact, by effectiveness, Brandon Kintzler may have been a better candidate to go down, but Wooten’s option year is already burned and that likely played a part in the decision.
For Jim Henderson, this must be seen as a referendum on where he’s at physically. Recent reports show him lagging behind the needed 97 MPH on his fastball. I haven’t seen any recent accounts of his slider command nor how his “work-in-progress” change up have fared since he got back on the mound, but without the heat I’m not sure the other pitches matter a lot. The timing doesn’t make much difference on his being moved to the 60-day DL though (he’s already spent more than 60 days on the DL having been placed on it on May 2nd), so maybe everything is progressing fine, but you normally wouldn’t make the move with a guy set to return any time soon.
Time will tell, I suppose.
Quick updates to make sure that you’re up to speed on where some players are at.
Gallardo Sprains Ankle, Next Start in Doubt
Yovani Gallardo sprained his left ankle yesterday in the 4th inning of a game he would eventually take the loss in against the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday evening. (Vine video: http://vine.co/v/MHtBltPtL5D )
After the game, manager Ron Roenicke suggested that the team veteran might not make his next start and would almost certainly have to push his bullpen session back a day at the very least. Gallardo tried to argue his way into staying in the game but Roenicke (and the team’s head Athletic Trainer Dan Wright) made the correct call to get Gallardo out of the game right away. After all, as Roenicke pointed out during postgame, you don’t want a cascade injury to his arm because he’s altering his mechanics to compensate for the pain.
X-rays were negative for a fracture though, so even if Gallardo misses one start, it could be a circumstance where the Brewers avoid having to place him on the Disabled List.
Henderson Set to Begin Rehab Assignment
It was reported (and later officially announced) that relief pitcher Jim Henderson would begin a rehab assignment with the Class-AA Huntsville Stars. The Brewers expect Henderson to make at least three appearances in the minor leagues before determining whether he’s ready to be activated.
Henderson was originally placed on the 15-day DL with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. In his last appearance (May 1 at Cincinnati), Henderson had a noticable lack of control and a telltale drop in velocity. That led to his getting knocked around badly (0.2 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 ER, 1 HR) resulting in a season ERA spike from 3.38 to 7.15. He was disabled quickly after the game and it was revealed early on that they wouldn’t rush the big right-hander back before he was 100% healthy.
The reason that Henderson is beginning his rehab assignment with Huntsville is because Tom Gorzelanny will be continuing his with the Class-AAA Nashville Sounds and GM Doug Melvin didn’t want them on the same roster. That’s likely to ensure that they both get into the games that they need.
In two appearances with the Class-A Advanced Brevard County Manatees, Gorzelanny totaled 4.0 innings pitched while allowing two hits and a walk. He struck out one of the 14 batters he faced. The numbers really don’t mean a ton either way because he’s still simply ramping up like he’s pitching in spring training, but good numbers are certainly better than poor ones. That he was able to pitching two innings in each outing is also an encouraging sign for Gorzelanny as he is rehabbing from off-season shoulder surgery.
Gorzelanny’s rehab assignment began May 14 and at the time we were told that the Brewers expected it to last the maximum 30 days. That puts Gorzelanny on schedule to possibly to return to the 25-man roster in time for a weekend series against the Reds in mid-June at Miller Park.
Ramirez Ready to Run?
When Aramis Ramirez (15-Day DL, hamstring strain) first was injured, he said he heard a pop and there was talk that this could be quite a bit longer than the minimum 15 day stay on the disabled list. Then while in Chicago for a chilly weekend series with the Cubs, the Brewers began saying that Ramirez, who had never had a hamstring injury to that point in his career, was pain-free walking and would likely attempt light running once the team got to Atlanta and were in warmer temperatures.
I haven’t seen any reports on whether he did or how it went if he did, but it still seems that returning on Memorial Day against the Baltimore Orioles is unlikely to occur. But stranger things have happened.
Just a quick item to get those up to speed who might not have been made aware of the happenings over the past couple of days.
Decision Finally Forced on Braun
Ryan Braun was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday morning. The transaction is retroactive to Sunday, April 27th. That means Braun isn’t eligible to return until Monday, May 12th (an off day for the Brewers). He’ll miss the rest of this series against the Cincinnati Reds and both full series against the lowly Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees.
Hopefully Braun is ready to go on Tuesday, May 13th against the Pittsburgh Pirates, but having been given no real report on his progress in returning from a strained right oblique, we’re left to wonder and hope.
Return of the Mack
Taking my heading from his choice of walk-up music during home games, Logan Schafer was activated from the disabled list when Braun was placed on it Saturday. Schafer played a handful of games on a rehab assignment, some for Class-A Advanced Brevard County and then for Class-AAA Nashville before returning. He only slashed .133/.222/.200 in 26 combined at-bats, but the Brewers will appreciate getting his steady defense back on the field and his left-handed bat back in the lineup to spell Khris Davis. Davis is struggling pretty hard against right-handed pitching so far this season.
Schafer was originally placed on the DL after straining his hamstring while stretching in the on-deck circle before a pinch-hit appearance on April 17th.
Inflammation Sidelines Henderson
Jim Henderson, who hasn’t pitched in a save situation all season for the Brewers after velocity and command issues plagued him all spring, was placed on the 15-day disabled list following Thursday night’s game against the Reds. Henderson was diagnosed with right shoulder inflammation, which would help explain his reduced velocity in his appearance earlier that night.
The Brewers wanted to get a fresh arm up from the minors anyway — then ended up recalling Rob Wooten — so the timing ended up convenient to that end. Unfortunately it was quite the inconvenience to the outcome of the game as Henderson entered in a tied game and was eventually charged with five earned runs in a rare bullpen blow up.
Once Henderson is actually ready for a rehab assignment, expect the team to take its time in activating him. Given this opportunity, they’ll certainly want to make sure Henderson is finally healthy before rejoining the team.
Steady As She Goes
Tom Gorzelanny, who pitched very well when used out of manager Ron Roenicke‘s bullpen last year, required off-season shoulder surgery and is still working his way back. Gorzelanny still has not begun a minor league rehab assignment after suffering what was called “a little setback” during the second week of April.
Then expected to miss the balance of April, we’re now in May so the question is coming back around as to how Gorzelanny is progressing. With no rehab assignment announced, they’re still looking at a minimum of a couple of weeks.
Here is a listing of the MLB salaries of the 26* men earning MLB-level pay from the Milwaukee Brewers as of Opening Day.
Quick math: The figures below total $101,219,338.00
Aramis Ramirez $15,137,803
Matt Garza $12,209,424
Rickie Weeks $12,000,000
Yovani Gallardo $11,500,000
Ryan Braun $11,111,111
Kyle Lohse $11,000,000
Carlos Gomez $7,000,000
Marco Estrada $3,325,000
Francisco Rodriguez $3,250,000
Tom Gorzelanny* $3,150,000
Jonathan Lucroy $2,100,000
Mark Reynolds $2,000,000
Lyle Overbay $1,500,000
Zach Duke $850,000
Jean Segura $534,000
Wily Peralta $515,000
Jim Henderson $512,000
Brandon Kintzler $507,000
Logan Schafer $505,000
Tyler Thornburg $505,000
Scooter Gennett $504,000
Khris Davis $503,000
Jeff Bianchi $ 502,000
Martin Maldonado $ 502,000
Will Smith $502,000
Wei-Chung Wang $500,000
*Tom Gorzelanny is on the 15-day Disabled List to begin the season
Source: USA Today
Here is the breakdown of the Opening Day 25-man roster.
59 Zach Duke* – LHP
41 Marco Estrada – RHP
49 Yovani Gallardo – RHP
22 Matt Garza – RHP
29 Jim Henderson – RHP
53 Brandon Kintzler – RHP
26 Kyle Lohse – RHP
38 Wily Peralta – RHP
57 Francisco Rodriguez – RHP
13 Will Smith – LHP
30 Tyler Thornburg – RHP
51 Wei-Chung Wang – LHP
20 Jonathan Lucroy
12 Martin Maldonado
14 Jeff Bianchi
2 Scooter Gennett
24 Lyle Overbay
16 Aramis Ramirez
7 Mark Reynolds
9 Jean Segura
23 Rickie Weeks
8 Ryan Braun
18 Khris Davis
27 Carlos Gomez
1 Logan Schafer
DISABLED LIST (1)
32 Tom Gorzelanny LHP (left shoulder)
10 Ron Roenicke – Manager
33 Mike Guerrero – Coach
35 Garth Iorg – 1B Coach
39 Rick Kranitz – Pitching Coach
36 Jerry Narron – Bench Coach
37 Johnny Narron – Hitting Coach
6 Ed Sedar – 3B Coach
31 John Shelby – Outfield Coach
43 Lee Tunnell – Bullpen Coach
56 Joe Crawford – Coaching Assistant
55 Marcus Hanel – Bullpen Catcher
We’re on the precipice of Opening Day, but there are still some decisions awaiting the front office staff of the Milwaukee Brewers.
Most pressing, if not most important, is how they will construct the 25-man roster to begin the 2014 regular season. In this, they’ve got some options.
Let’s assume a couple of things off the top here. First, a standard 13 hitter, 12 pitcher roster split. Second, that we’re all aware that things will change throughout the season and plenty of the players who don’t make the Opening Day roster will don a Brewers uniform at some point in 2014.
I’ll lay out the different roster groupings and then explain what went into my decisions thereafter. Cool?
With that, to the list!
Starting Pitchers (5)
- Yovani Gallardo
- Kyle Lohse
- Marco Estrada
- Matt Garza
- Wily Peralta
I did my best educated guess at the order here too. It was announced that Gallardo has Opening Day honors and that Lohse will follow in Game 2. It was also hinted that Garza could pitch the opener in Boston, but that isn’t for sure yet…at least not publicly. Couple that with how well Estrada has pitched and he’s the superior choice against Atlanta in Game 3 than is Peralta.
The wrinkle here is that the Brewers have the opportunity to start the season with four starters because of the off-days scheduled. They don’t need a fifth starting pitcher until mid-April. If they do that, Peralta would start with Nashville to stay on rotation.
Relief Pitchers (7)
(with one more starting on DL)
- Jim Henderson
- Francisco Rodriguez
- Will Smith*
- Brandon Kintzler
- Wei-Chung Wang*
- Rob Wooten
- Alfredo Figaro (Alternative: Tyler Thornburg)
- Tom Gorzelanny* (DL)
Henderson is the incumbent closer. Rodriguez was brought in on a MLB deal and has the longest track record out of any of the options. Smith has been great this spring after being acquired in trade. Kintzler was very good last year and has a spot locked up. Wang makes it in part because of how well he’s thrown but also because of the Rule V circumstances. Wooten pitched well enough in his time last year that he gets one of my “open” jobs. He’s certainly in a fungible position, though, as he’s got minor league options remaining.
For the final active spot, I’m going with Alfredo Figaro. I know that Tyler Thornburg is under consideration for that job, but I think that they’ll realize that he’s more valuable staying stretched out at Nashville in order to cover the inevitable first injury to the starting rotation than he is in pitching at best every other day in Milwaukee as the long man. Figaro filled the long relief role admirably last year as his stuff played up out of the bullpen.
Wooten, Figaro, and Thornburg all have at least one minor league option remaining so there’s no real consideration of roster depth when making any decisions concering the three. And I think we’ll be seeing all of them pitch at Miller Park in 2014 at one point or another.
As for non-roster invitee Zach Duke, I think that the Brewers have liked what they’ve seen but with Wang making good (so far), there really isn’t room for Duke to begin the season. The veteran lefty is on a minor-league deal, so most likely he’ll simply be assigned to Nashville to start.
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Martin Maldonado
They’re the only two on the 40-man and that’s because they’re the two best in the organization. Nothing more needs to be said here.
- Mark Reynolds
- Rickie Weeks
- Jean Segura
- Aramis Ramirez
- Juan Francisco** (Alternative: Lyle Overbay)
- Scooter Gennett**
- Jeff Bianchi (Alternative: Elian Herrera)
Reynolds was signed to a minor-league deal for roster considerations at the time. He’s got a job. Weeks is the longest-tenured player in the organization right now and isn’t moveable (yet). Segura and Ramirez are obvious inclusions. Gennett comes along if they go with two second basemen, which has been the hottest talk of late.
Despite all the talk to the contrary lately, I still think that if they must choose between them, Francisco’s potential, relative youth, power, and increased patience this spring outweight Overbay’s veteran savvy, locker room presence, and far superior defense. That said, I can absolutely see a scenario in which they trade Francisco for an asset and keep Overbay. Maybe I’m projecting Francisco simply out of hope.
The other hotly contested job has been the utility infielder role. Jeff Bianchi filled the role last year with middling success. The biggest challenger to Bianchi’s incumbency has been the 40-man rostered Elian Herrera, who was claimed off waivers from the Los Angeles Dodgers over the winter. They’ve both hit, they both have defensive versatility. The differences that matter: Bianchi is a better defender at shortstop. Herrera is a much more natural outfielder (which is big when you’ve only got four rostered). Herrera is a switch hitter. Bianchi is out of options; Herrera has one remaining. It is that last point that I think will be the deciding factor. Herrera will start at Nashville and would absolutley be the first man called upon should an injury befall any infielder on the big league roster.
For the record: Should they decide that they can forego two second basemen to start the year to even the roster out a bit a more, I think Herrera make the club over a fifth true outfielder.
- Khris Davis
- Carlos Gomez
- Ryan Braun
- Logan Schafer**
Another easy prediction. Schafer could see some time starting in left field, but as the only man on the projected roster that can backup centerfield, he’ll likely be providing coverage from the bench more often than not.
* - Throws left-handed ** - Bats left-handed ---
So there you have it.
I welcome feedback and want to hear your opinions. Do you agree? Disagree? Think I’m overlooking an important detail or better player? Look down there…a “Comments” section.
We’re less than a month away from Opening Day, 29 days to be exact. I don’t want to get anyone overly excited, but that’s just four weeks and a day.
As far as seasons go, 2013 was an unmitigated disaster. About the only thing better in 2013 than in 2012 though was the performance of the bullpen. That bullpen was anchored briefly by John Axford (now of the Cleveland Indians by way of St. Louis), but the 9th inning was quickly handed to today’s focus…
A veteran of professional baseball, James Duffy Henderson made his MLB debut finally in 2012 at the age of 29. He had an okay first season in Milwaukee, albeit a truncated one, and broke camp in 2013 as the “8th inning guy” for manager Ron Roenicke. After a brief run of struggles for the incumbent closer — Axford, as mentioned earlier — Henderson took over the 9th inning duties as closer and posted a solid campaign.
With a 2.70 ERA in 60.0 innings pitched over 61 appearances and 28 Saves in 32 chances, Henderson was effective in his new role. The well-documented problem, however, was that Henderson was much less effective against left-handed hitter than he was against their counterparts.
The splits, if it pleases the court:
- vs RHH: .165/.232/.243, 125 PA, 19 H, 35/8 K/BB, 2 HR
- vs LHH: .238/.339/.448, 122 PA, 25 H, 40/16 K/BB, 6 HR
Henderson is primarily a fastball/slider pitcher, and his slider began failing him as the year went on. He couldn’t throw it for strikes much of the time and as has been true forever, if a big league hitter knows a straight fastball is coming, it doesn’t matter how hard it’s thrown.
All is not lost, though, Brewers fans. Henderson is aware of his problem and is working on fixing it. He and Roenicke have hinted that Roenicke could be working on adding a new pitch to his repertoire that will increase his effectiveness against left-handers.
But what pitch is it? Two pitches make some sense. Henderson might be working on a changeup which could play nicely off of his big fastball. An effective change can take time to perfect, so perhaps Henderson is working on the current pitch du jour in MLB — a cut fastball.
A cutter would keep hitters guessing and keep the fat part of the bat off the baseball often enough to be worth the effort in learning it. Cutters can be effective against lefties because as they cut into the hitter it can induce weak contact, swings and misses, and perhaps a few broken bats.
With or without a new pitch, Henderson will be counted on to lead the 2014 edition of the bullpen. He won’t be alone out there as guys like Francisco Rodriguez, Will Smith and Brandon Kintzler all have proven late-inning ability, but for the Brewers ‘pen to truly thrive, it will need to maintain its structure and depth for the most part.
Once Henderson gets into a Cactus League game, we’ll see how his new pitch is received. He’ll keep it or scrap it, but when the lights come on at the end of March he’ll simply need to get outs one way or another.
He’s got 28 more days after today to get ready, but he’s had 12 professional years to be prepared.
You can follow Jim Henderson on Twitter: @JimHenderson29
Miss anyone along the way? Catch up on the Brewers By the (Jersey) Numbers profiles to this point:
- #30 Tyler Thornburg
- #32 Tom Gorzelanny
- #38 Wily Peralta
- #40 Johnny Hellweg
- #41 Marco Estrada
- #45 Alfredo Figaro
- #46 Hiram Burgos
- #47 Rob Wooten
- #49 Yovani Gallardo
- #50 José De La Torre
- #51 Wei-Chung Wang
- #52 Jimmy Nelson
- #53 Brandon Kintzler
- #54 Michael Blazek
- #58 Ariel Peña
- #59 Zach Duke
- #60 Kevin Shackelford
- #61 Jason Rogers
- #63 Brooks Hall
- #64 Mike Fiers
- #65 Irving Falu
- #66 Robinzon Diaz
- BONUS COLUMN: #77 David Goforth, #76 Kevin Mattison, #75 Mitch Haniger, #74 Michael Olmstead, #73 Kentrail Davis, #72 Cameron Garfield, #71 Adam Weisenburger, #70 Dustin Molleken, #67 Eugenio Velez
Eight All-Fan Bobblehead Giveaway dates are scheduled at Miller Park this season, and fans will get to choose which player will be immortalized in Bobblehead form on Sunday, July 27 when the Brewers take on the New York Mets. Beginning today at 10 a.m. CT and continuing through Friday, February 7 at noon CT, fans can visit Brewers.com to cast their vote for one of three Brewers players to be selected: pitchers Matt Garza, Jim Henderson or Wily Peralta.
In addition, fans can cast an extra vote via Twitter (using the hashtag of their choice shown in the graphic above) or text message. For complete details, visit Brewers.com/bobblevote. The winner will be announced on Monday, February 10 at 11am.
BREWERS ON DECK, PRESENTED BY TIME WARNER CABLE, TO INCLUDE OVER 50 PLAYERS, COACHES, BROADCASTERS & ALUMNI
Free Admission to All Fans in 2014; Food Donations Accepted through Hunger Task Force
Nearly thirty Milwaukee Brewers players plus a host of alumni, coaches, front office executives and broadcasters are scheduled to participate in Brewers On Deck, presented by Time Warner Cable, which is set to take place on Sunday, January 26 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Wisconsin Center.
Admission to this year’s Brewers On Deck is free of charge. Tickets are not required for the event. Food donations will be accepted through the Hunger Task Force (peanut butter is requested by the Hunger Task Force, in particular). Donations can be dropped off at two main entrances to the Wisconsin Center, located at 4th Street and Wisconsin Avenue, and 4th Street and Wells Street. Players, coaches and alumni scheduled to attend include (all subject to change):
- Jeff Bianchi
- Michael Blazek
- Ryan Braun
- Hiram Burgos
- Khris Davis
- Marco Estrada
- Mike Fiers
- Yovani Gallardo
- Scooter Gennett
- Caleb Gindl
- Tom Gorzelanny
- Brooks Hall
- Sean Halton
- Donovan Hand
- Johnny Hellweg
- Jim Henderson
- Elian Herrera
- Brandon Kintzler
- Kyle Lohse
- Jonathan Lucroy
- Hunter Morris
- Jimmy Nelson
- Mark Reynolds
- Jason Rogers
- Logan Schafer
- Jean Segura
- Kevin Shackelford
- Will Smith
- Tyler Thornburg
- Rob Wooten
- Craig Counsell
- Rollie Fingers
- Jim Gantner
- Larry Hisle
- Geoff Jenkins
- Gorman Thomas
- Robin Yount
- Ron Roenicke
- Joe Crawford
- Mike Guerrero
- Marcus Hanel
- Garth Iorg
- Rick Kranitz
- Johnny Narron
- Ed Sedar
- John Shelby
- Lee Tunnell
- Jerry Augustine
- Dave Nelson
- Bob Uecker
Brewers On Deck will feature a number of activities for the entire family. Autographs and photos from Brewers players, coaches and alumni; interactive games in the Kids Area; Q&A sessions and game shows with Brewers players, coaches and broadcasters; vendor booths with baseball memorabilia; Brewers Community Foundation’s Treasure Hunt and many other activities will all be a part of Brewers On Deck.
Details regarding autographs include the following: Recipients of “PREMIER” autographs (players to be announced next week) will be chosen through a random selection process. Each fan in attendance will receive one Premier Entry sheet which may be redeemed at the Random Selection area outside the Main Exhibit Hall of the Wisconsin Center District. The Premier Entry sheet will be exchanged for a numbered coupon to be entered into the random selection process for any one of the select Brewers players. Coupon distribution will be available at 8 a.m. the day of the event and will continue up to an hour before each designated autograph session. There is no cost for coupons to enter the random selection process; however, those holding winning coupons must pay $10 at the respective autograph stage to collect their player signature. There will be 250 winners for each of the autograph sessions. The winning ticket numbers will be posted at the designated autograph stage no less than 30 minutes prior to each player’s session.
Players and staff not included in the PREMIER autograph list will not use the random selection process. Each of these players will sign 250 autographs at prices ranging from free to $10. A schedule of players, their session times, and distribution info will be posted next week. The autograph opportunities are for signatures on photo cards provided by the team; the Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia. For additional information, visit Brewers.com/ondeck.
Autograph proceeds benefit Brewers Community Foundation. Please note that cash is the only acceptable form of payment for autographs. The Brewers cannot guarantee that any player will sign other memorabilia, and personalization of items is solely up to the discretion of each player.
Fans also have the opportunity to enter to win autographs from their favorite players via a #BrewersOnDeck Vine & Instagram contest, which runs through Monday, January 20. The details can be found here: http://brewers.mlblogs.com/2014/01/07/win-an-autograph-from-your-favorite-brewers-player-at-brewers-on-deck/
Recorded on location last night, here is the latest Brewer Nation podcast.
Check the tags for some of the players mentioned during this hour-long clip.