As expected, the Brewers have activated right-handed reliever Jim Henderson from the 15-day disabled list in time for Sunday’s series finale against the Phillies. Tyler Thornburg was optioned to Triple-A Nashville late Saturday to open up a roster spot.
Henderson wound up missing exactly 15 days with a strained right hamstring. He had a stellar 0.92 ERA, 0.81 WHIP and 23/5 K/BB ratio in 19 2/3 innings before hitting the shelf and should immediately take back the Brewers’ ninth-inning job from Francisco Rodriguez, who performed admirably as a fill-in.
Henderson, a 30-year-old late-bloomer, has registered an impressive 2.50 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 68/18 K/BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings since making his major league debut last July 26. It’s quite a success story.
UPDATE, 10:40 AM ET: MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers will keep K-Rod in the ninth-inning role until he reaches career save No. 300. The 31-year-old is currently sitting on 298 saves.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.