Twins recalling Liam Hendriks to replace Nick Blackburn

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Nick Blackburn was dumped from the Twins’ rotation yesterday after being the worst pitcher in baseball for the past three seasons and today Minnesota recalled 23-year-old Liam Hendriks from Triple-A to replace him.

Hendriks has been awful in his first couple stints as a big leaguer, going 0-7 with a 6.71 ERA in 12 starts while serving up 13 homers in 62 innings.

However, his minor-league track record is solid and includes a 2.20 ERA in 16 starts at Triple-A this year. His strikeout-to-walk ratio there is considerably less impressive at 82-to-28 in 106 innings, but Hendriks projects as a mid-rotation starter long term and the last-place Twins might as well see if he’ll be ready for a full-time rotation spot next season.

Hendriks will start tomorrow against the A’s, in Oakland.

Report: Pirates sign Felipe Rivero to four-year contract extension

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Pirates will sign reliever Felipe Rivero to a four-year contract extension that includes two club options. The total value of the deal is believed to be $22 million and each club option is worth $10 million.

Rivero, 26, did not come to an agreement with the Pirates to avoid arbitration in his first year of eligibility ahead of last Friday’s deadline. He requested a $2.9 million salary for the 2018 season while the Pirates countered at $2.4 million. This extension will cover all four years of Rivero’s arbitration eligibility and the two club options can cover his first two years of free agency as well.

Rivero was one of baseball’s best relievers last season, finishing with 21 saves, a 1.67 ERA, and an 88/20 K/BB ratio in 75 1/3 innings. The Pirates acquired him from the Nationals along with minor leaguer Taylor Hearn ahead of the 2016 non-waiver trade deadline in the Mark Melancon deal.

Presumably, Rivero’s extension was in the works before he knew anything about the Andrew McCutchen trade. He made a couple of tweets following this afternoon’s news. In one, he used only the “facepalm” emoji. The other was a .gif of The Office character Jim Halpert yelling, “What is going on?”