Ryan's Place

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Brewers Send Henrickson Down, Claim Mabeus

From Adam McCalvy at MLB.com:

Brewers manager Ned Yost still believes that Ben Hendrickson has a future in the big leagues. For now, that future is on hold.

Hendrickson was optioned back to Triple-A Nashville on Sunday, a day after he surrendered six runs without recording an out against the Twins at Miller Park. Hendrickson will be replaced Monday by right-handed reliever Chris Mabeus.

"[Hendrickson] just needs to be able to go out and command his pitches, stay on the attack and throw strikes and get ahead of the hitters," Yost said. "His stuff is good enough to pitch here."

In four appearances with the Brewers including three starts, the 25-year-old was 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA. Hendrickson was especially dreadful in his last two starts, allowing 13 earned runs on 12 hits in just 2 1/3 innings.

Was he surprised to be sent down?

"No," Hendrickson said. "I can't get people out in the first inning."

The first six Twins batters reached base against him on Saturday, when Hendrickson became the first Brewers starter in 11 years to get the hook before he recorded an out. In his previous start at San Diego, the Padres scored five first-inning runs on five hits.

But Hendrickson was encouraged by some constructive criticism from Brewers coaches on Sunday. Bullpen coach Billy Castro believes that hitters may be seeing a raised knuckle during Hendrickson's delivery that tips them to his big, breaking curveball.

"I guess they're not swinging at my curveball because they see it," Hendrickson said after meeting with Yost on Sunday evening. "At least it gives me something to work on. ... I have to try it. I haven't done it that way since high school."


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