Hendrickson returns to Class AAA Nashville; Mabeus gets the call
After watching Ben Hendrickson fail to retire any of the six batters he faced in the first inning Saturday night at Miller Park, a performance that doomed Milwaukee to a rather heinous 16-10 loss, Brewers manager Ned Yost did not immediately announce a decision on Hendrickson's future.
"I haven't thought about it," Yost told reporters after the game. "I've got 10 days before I've got to. We'll review it."
The review certainly didn't last long. The Brewers jettisoned Hendrickson and promoted Chris Mabeus from Nashville to take his place. If you're not familiar with Mabeus, it's because the Brewers just claimed off waivers from Oakland last week -- a move that led to knuckleballer Jared Fernandez being punted from the 40-man roster.
Fernandez has since accepted an assignment to Nashville, where he can now trade notes with Hendrickson, who was 0-2 with a 12.00 ERA in four games (three starts), that included two first-inning disasters. On May 11 in San Diego, the first five Padres hitters to face Hendrickson reached base and came around to score. The outing against the Twins was worse, both in terms of statistics and the fact that Hendrickson grew up in Minnesota and had a lot of friends and family members watching in the ballpark and on TV.
Over his past two starts, Hendrickson, who had been filling in for injured Tomo Ohka, allowed 12 hits and 13 runs in his final 2 1/3 innings. That's not the kind of production that keeps a young pitcher in the majors.
Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux often refers to Hendrickson by the nickname "Snowflake," because the right-hander is blond and extremely fair-skinned. Hendrickson's career path is just about as mystifying as a snowflake. He can get hitters out at Class AAA and not in the majors, where he has a 1-9 record and 7.86 ERA in 12 starts.
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