For the second time this season the Twins have turned to their reigning minor league pitcher of the year Liam Hendriks in the starting rotation, been disappointing by the results, and sent the 23-year-old right-hander back to Triple-A.
Hendriks, who lasted just four innings yesterday against the Tigers, is 0-7 with a 6.71 ERA in 12 career starts and has served up 13 homers in 62 innings as a big leaguer after allowing a total of just three homers in 96 innings at Triple-A.
He was the Twins’ top pitching prospect coming into the season, but that was more by default as part of a very weak farm system, and long term he projects as a strike-throwing mid-rotation starter. For now 27-year-old career minor leaguer Cole DeVries will take his spot in the rotation after faring surprisingly well in some fill-in opportunities.
There were a few exhibitions against college teams yesterday but today the Grapefruit League and Cactus League schedules begin in earnest, with big league teams, more or less, facing big league team, more or less.
The baseball will look like baseball, but the teams will be wearing different caps today: black caps with the maroon “SD” of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting on February 14.
All teams and umpire crews will wear the caps pre-game, and they have the option to wear the caps during the games. The only two teams not playing today — the Royals and Rangers — will wear them tomorrow.
After the games players will sign the caps and they will be auctioned off to raise money for the Broward Education Foundation, which benefits the official Stoneman Douglas Victims’ Fund.
Here’s today’s schedule: