Results tagged ‘ Liam Hendriks ’
By Jim Hawkins / Special to MLB.com
Twins’ General Manager Terry Ryan has confirmed that Liam Hendriks “has been penciled for Friday,” giving the Twins a rotation of Vance Worley, Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey, Hendriks and Col De Vries, in that order.
Hendriks remained in Florida when the Twins broke camp on Saturday and will pitch in a Minor League Spring Training game Sunday. If all goes well, he will rejoin the team on Monday.
It’s not been a good week for Aussie potential major leaguers with Travis Blackley and Josh Spence being sent down. Now comes news that the Dodgers have dropped Peter Moylan to the minor leagues. That leaves only Grant Balfour and possibly Liam Hendriks as our representatives in The Show. Disappointing.
A number of minor leaguers got some playing time in the final games of Spring Training today. David Kandilas got a good run with the Rockies going 0-1 and a walk and a run. Both Matt Kennelly and Stefan Welch went 0-2 and rookie Darryl George didn’t get to bat but got to play at third late in the Rays’ game today. This no doubt softened the disappointment he felt when he was unable to crack a place in a full season team and has to return next week to extended spring.
Twins starting pitcher Liam Hendriks, who was drilled by a line drive Tuesday, was able to test his right hand as he completed a bullpen session without any setbacks Thursday.
“[Special instructor Tom Kelly] said everything looked great, that he was kind of surprised he looked that good,” manager Ron Gardenhire told MLB.com
Hendriks has posted a 4.15 ERA and 1.29 WHIP in seven starts this spring. He is expected to earn a spot in the rotation.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Liam Hendriks sits on the infield after his pitching hand was hit by a ball off the bat of the Baltimore Orioles’ Brian Roberts in the third inning Tuesday. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
By Brian Murphy/Twincities.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Liam Hendriks missed one more chance to build up his pitch count and nail down a starting job while almost having his face rearranged by a nasty comebacker. But the Twins right-hander did not lose his sense of humor.
He could afford to chuckle after learning his pitching hand was merely bruised fending off a wicked line drive hit by Baltimore’s Brian Roberts, which terminated Hendriks’ last spring outing after a scoreless 2 2/3 innings.
“I decided to stop it with my hand instead of my face,” Hendriks said Tuesday, March 26. “Perfect that he gave me a line drive straight at someone. I was preferring it wasn’t me.”
Said manager Ron Gardenhire: “He’s lucky he didn’t get killed. That was scary.”
Ideally, Hendriks would have worked 80 to 90 pitches, but he threw only half as many in an otherwise solid appearance. The short stint frustrated him more than his swollen palm and pinkie.
“It’s a little irritating. It’s one of those (times) it was safer to take me out then let me go in case anything was more serious,” he said. “I feel fine. Ball was coming out good. We’ll take it day by day, ice it up all night and keep the swelling down a bit. See how we go.”
Hendriks was cautiously optimistic he could throw his regularly scheduled bullpen session Thursday. Despite the setback, his status on the active roster seems secure after the Twins reassigned right-handers P.J. Walters and Samuel Deduno to minor league camp, narrowing competition for the back end of the rotation.
“He’s definitely in the mix. With Sammy Deduno being sent out, that probably gives him a spot there,” Gardenhire said after Minnesota’s 9-5 victory at Hammond Stadium.
“(Hendriks will) be fine. He still threw 40-something pitches. We’d like to have seen him stretched out, more so for the rest of the guys out there that didn’t need innings, but he’ll be fine.”
Hendriks, who had surgery in October to remove bone chips, is trying to reestablish his major league credentials after a Jekyll-and-Hyde 2012 season.
The off-speed specialist shuttled back and forth from Triple-A to Minnesota, going 9-3 with a 2.20 earned-run average in Rochester and 1-8 with a 5.59 ERA with the Twins. He finished the spring with a 2-1 record, 4.15 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings, shutting down the New York Yankees and Orioles in his last two starts.
“My last couple outings have been good,” he said. “I’ve been able to locate. It’s all coming along well. Hopefully, this (injury) doesn’t hinder me too much. Obviously, it sucks, but … scoreless outing.”
Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia are locks for the starting rotation, but there is room for at least one more starter to head north, with left-hander Scott Diamond not expected to debut until April 12 as he rehabs from offseason elbow surgery.
“The good thing is, they’re going in the right direction,” general manager Terry Ryan said. “As we approach Opening Day, I think people do worry about which direction we’re headed. These guys still have another start. Hopefully, they’ll start to piece together some pitches here and some command and control and the stuff we’re looking for once they develop the arm strength, which they have.
“We’ve had a pretty decent camp.”
By Rhett Bollinger/MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Right-hander Liam Hendriks left Tuesday’s start against the Orioles in the third inning after being struck on his right hand with a line drive hit by Brian Roberts. He’s considered day to day.
Hendriks said he was using his right hand to protect his face from getting hit. But he said he was lucky it was only a bruise that left his pinkie finger slightly swollen.
“I decided to stop it with my hand instead of my face,” Hendriks said. “I had my hand in front of my glove that was in front of my face.”
Hendriks, who appeared to be the club’s top candidate for a back end of the rotation spot before the game, said he hopes to throw his scheduled bullpen session on Thursday. He was pitching well prior to being hit by the comebacker, tossing 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and struck out two while improving his spring ERA to 4.15.
“It was just precautionary,” said Hendriks about coming out of a game he was scheduled to throw 85-90 pitches in. “I feel fine. The ball was coming out good. It was just one of those things where they took me out just in case it was something more serious. But the pitch count thing does stink a little bit.”
Hendriks said he still hasn’t been told if he’s made the team yet. The Twins reassigned right-handers Samuel Deduno and P.J. Walters to Minor League camp before Tuesday’s game, which appeared to open the door for him to make the rotation.
“I have no idea yet,” Hendriks said. “It’s still up in the air. Obviously, it stinks. But at least it was a scoreless outing.”
In other news:
Andrew Russell was brought in to finish off Atlanta’s 6th after LHP Jonny Venters had blown their 2-1 lead over Detroit allowing 3 runs for 1 out. Andrew finished the inning without further damage although he did walk two in the process.
By Parker Hageman/TwinsDaily.com
On Thursday night, the Minnesota Twins showcased two of their potential starters for their remaining rotation vacancy – Liam Hendriks and Cole Devries.
Together, the pair silenced the Yankees’ bats over eight innings, allowing just one unearned run over eight innings.
Of course, spring training is not about the results but the process. For Hendriks, that process included peppering in more non-fastballs. As was discussed during the Fox Sports North broadcast, the Twins staff were looking for Hendriks to mix in more of his secondary offerings after he became what they felt was too reliant on his fastball during his last outing.
“It was coming out of my hand well,” Hendriks told reports afterwards. “Curveball was good. Mainly slider to the righties, curveball to the lefties.”
Perhaps Hendriks’ biggest issue right now is his inability to shut down right-handed hitters. Last year, lefties slapped him around to the tune of .768 OPS. Righties, meanwhile, torched him with a 1.020 OPS. Among starters with a minimum of 30 innings against right-handed hitters, Hendriks’ .351 batting average was the highest in baseball.
Against righties, he is a two-pitch pitcher, arming himself with a fastball and a slider. The slider, up to this point in his career, has been a detriment to his success. According to BaseballProspectus.com’s leaderboard, Hendriks’ slider created the lowest percentage of outs in baseball last year. His slider had “put away” just 4.1% of hitters on the times it was thrown, making it terribly ineffective. C.C. Sabathia, a Yankee sitting across the field from Hendriks yesterday, managed to retire 32% of his opponents on that pitch – the highest rate in baseball. It does not take a math major to realize there is a huge chasm between the results of Sabathia’s offering and the one Hendriks spins.
Did we learn anything new from this most recent spring start? Probably not. After all, the Yankees only threw out three right-handed hitters against Hendriks: Kevin Youkilis, Eduardo Nunez and Francisco Cervelli. A literal non-Murderer’s Row of Yankee sluggers.
Nevertheless, to his credit, with the exception of the fourth-inning walk to the shaved Youkilis, Hendriks did his job – none of the aforementioned righties reached base.
I’ve cited several times over that one of Hendriks’s biggest issues is his slider and the coaching staff likely recognizes this as well. During his last bullpen session prior to the start, the 24 year-old struggled with his secondary offerings’ location.
“During my bullpen, during my offspeed, I could not locate a single thing,” Hendriks told reporters. “It was disgraceful. [Anderson] said ‘Stay back, stay relaxed.’”
Unquestionably, the curveball looked sharp. He maintained a strong 12-to-6 break with this pitch and kept the Yankees’ left-handed unit at bay, one that included renowned sluggers like Travis Hafner and World Baseball Classic winner, Robinson Cano. Hendriks’ fastball command helped set up that giant breaking ball and kept the lefties off-balanced for the duration of his outing. But there were occasions in while he seemed to lack the confidence in that pitch.
During an early battle with Hafner, the Aussie held a 2-2 advantage but shook catcher Drew Butera off twice before throwing a fastball (a ball) and then followed it up with a second fastball (fouled off) before missing with a curve. The shake-off could have been a cat-and-mouse game of shaking off a fastball only to set up Hafner for the fastball still, however, his admittance of command issues of his breaking stuff in his recent pen session only seems to reaffirm the notion that Hendriks shook off a curve.
If 2012 has any bearings on it, Hendriks has demonstrated that he shies away from his breaking stuff when he is ahead of the hitters. Look at his pitch breakdown from BrooksBaseball.com from last year:
What Hendriks needs is more confidence in his secondary pitches. He pitches backwards by throwing his non-fastballs out-front but he fails in the sense that he does not have a put-away pitch. Spotting his fastball will only get him so far. And, to this point in his career, that has meant success at Triple-A.
With Samuel Deduno making a strong case for one of the two positions open in the rotation, the race is tightening between Hendriks and Devries.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Liam Hendriks delivers a warmup throw before a 6-1 victory over the New York Yankees in a spring training baseball game in Tampa, Fla., on Thursday, March 21, 2013. (Associated Press: Kathy Willens)
By Mike Berardino
TAMPA, Fla. — Liam Hendriks got the message.
After relying too much on his fastball in his previous outing, the Twins right-hander heeded a reminder from manager Ron Gardenhire to better mix his pitches.
The result was a four-inning stint Thursday, March 21, against the New York Yankees in which Hendriks allowed just one hit, a one-out single by Robinson Cano in the fourth. Joe Benson’s two-base error allowed Cano to score, but Hendriks still managed to cut his spring earned-run average to 4.74.
He had two strikeouts and allowed two walks.
Cole De Vries followed with four no-hit innings, allowing only a walk to Brett Gardner and hitting Eduardo Nunez with a pitch, as the Twins’ rotation derby intensified.
Pedro Hernandez finished the combined 1-hitter with a scoreless ninth as the Twins rolled to a 6-1 win at Steinbrenner Field.
After his side session this week, Hendriks had a long discussion with pitching coach Rick Anderson, who encouraged him to “relax” as he threw his breaking pitches.
“In my bullpen, on my off-speed, I could not locate a single thing,” Hendriks said. “It was kind of disgraceful. I spoke with Anderson and he just said to relax: ‘Relax and throw it nice and easy.’ I did and it paid off tonight.”
You wouldn’t think Hendriks would need a relaxation reminder, but when it came to throwing his slider and curveball, he did.
“I’m always kind of relaxed,” he said. “I think it’s the Aussie nature. It’s mainly that
I was gripping the ball too tight. I was trying to choke it and throw it as hard as I could every time. That’s just not the way I need to throw my off-speed stuff.
“I need to relax and take it nice and easy and make sure everything is the same — my arm action and everything — instead of trying to ramp it up.”
Minnesota pitcher Liam Hendriks is competing for the fifth spot in the Twins’ starting rotation. / Getty Images
By Phil Miller/Startribune.com
Liam Hendriks, after giving up five hits and three runs in four innings, explained that, though he felt his offspeed pitches were working well, “I didn’t throw all that much of it because [Red Sox hitters] were late on all the fastballs, so I didn’t want to speed up their bats.”
Well, at least he had a reason. But when his manager critiqued Hendriks’ outing, he mentioned that same factor. And it didn’t sound like Ron Gardenhire was buying Hendriks’ logic.
“Hendriks threw the ball good, but didn’t really change his speeds much. All fastballs tonight,” Gardenhire said. “There really weren’t many spinners in there, changeups, nothing. I mean, it’s pretty impressive that you can throw all fastballs, but it doesn’t really work. You’ve got to mix in your other stuff. We noticed that quite a bit.”
Especially since, as Gardenhire pointed out, with a diet of nothing but fastballs, Boston hitters were able to jump on any pitch that got too much of the strike zone — like, say, the 88-mph sinker-that-didn’t that Hendriks threw to Jarrod Saltalamacchia. That one left jetBlue Park in a hurry, high and far beyond the right-field fence.
“Made one mistake to Salty and he killed it,” Gardenhire shrugged.
Hendriks was delighted with what he saw as real progress with his control on Friday, but he’s running out of time to make his case for a rotation spot. Cole De Vries and P.J. Walters haven’t allowed an earned run all spring, so he seems to be in danger of a trip to Rochester if things don’t change in a hurry.
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was having a strong spring before he hit his first home run on Friday night in a 5-0 win over the Twins at JetBlue Park.
Saltalamacchia, who hit a career-high 25 home runs a season ago, went deep to right field with Dustin Pedroia on first base and one out in the fourth inning. That came off Twins starter Liam Hendriks.
“To Salty, it was a fastball, a sinker that kind of stayed up,” said Hendriks, who struck out two and walked none. “It was a little bit up and a little bit down the middle. If I get it away another couple of inches, he misses it like he had the first couple of times. The fastball command was great, just the one pitch to him.”
Hendriks threw 70 pitches, 50 for strikes. 4INN, 5H, 1HR, 3R, 2K
Trent Oeltjen drew a walk in his only at bat today against Seattle.
Hendriks looks forward to 2013
By Rhett Bollinger
FORT MYERS, Fla. — When Liam Hendriks looks back at the 2012 season, he sees two different versions of himself.
There was the confident pitcher who dominated at Triple-A Rochester with a 2.20 ERA in 16 starts, and then there was the unsure pitcher who struggled in the big leagues with a 5.59 ERA in 16 outings for the Twins.
But Hendriks feels he’s past those problems that came during his time with the Twins last season, and is excited to prove he can be a solid starter at the Major League level after the success he’s had in the Minors.
“It was more of a mindset issue,” Hendriks said. “In the Minor Leagues, I felt like I could just get guys out, and then I’d come up to the big leagues and try to make a perfect pitch. And it’s just not the way to go about things. So I think at the end of the season I was just pitching and not overthinking, and it paid off.”
Hendriks also carried the weight of making his first 17 starts in the big leagues without recording a win. He finally got that first victory against the Indians on Sept. 19, and it remains his lone win in 20 starts with the Twins.
But Hendriks did pitch better late in the season, posting a 4.07 ERA over his last four outings to head into the offseason with some confidence. And Twins manager Ron Gardenhire took notice about the change he saw in Hendriks late in the year after his initial struggles.
“He didn’t pitch aggressive enough in the big leagues,” Gardenhire said. “He was pitching not to give up hits instead of pitching to get outs, and there’s a difference. And he understands that. Toward the end of the year, he attacked better. So it’s just a process here.”
It wasn’t a perfect offseason for Hendriks, either, as he ended up feeling some discomfort in his elbow and had a bone chip removed from his right elbow in November.
Hendriks, though, was able to start his throwing program on time and has proved to be healthy this spring. He pitched well in his third start against the Rays on Tuesday, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk over three innings. He has a 3.38 ERA in five Grapefruit League innings.
The outing would’ve been even better if Josh Willingham didn’t misplay a fly ball he lost in the sun with two outs in the second inning that led to both runs scoring. But Hendriks, showing his maturity, didn’t blame Willingham after the game.
“It happens — I was out there warming up and looked up and thought, ‘I probably shouldn’t give up a fly ball to left field,'” Hendriks said with a laugh. “It almost helped me. I got to work out of a few jams and pitch out of the stretch. The ball was coming out of my hand well, so I’ll take that any day. I felt really good.”
Hendriks has credited a change in his mechanics for his success this spring, as he has changed his leg kick to improve his balance and the movement on his pitches.
“My leg kick is not as high,” Hendriks said. “I want to make sure I stay back and don’t leak. It helps me to stay back. If I kick too high, I rotate a little bit and stay more closed. This helps me open up a little bit. But I still like to stay a little closed to add a little deception. So the lower leg kick just keeps everything in line, and so far I’m feeling really good and really strong.”
Hendriks said he’s felt better with each start this spring, and is happy with his results so far. He’s battling for a spot in the rotation and could break camp for a second straight season, especially with left-hander Scott Diamond still trying to come back from his elbow surgery performed in December.
“This outing was really good,” Hendriks said. “It was the best I’ve felt this Spring Training. I was able to locate my slider and my curveball. And the changeup was pretty good. So everything is coming along.”
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.