Jim Henderson had been pitching pretty well since being demoted from closer to setup man by the Brewers and came into yesterday’s game with a 3.38 ERA on the season. He exited the game with a 7.15 ERA (and a loss), allowing five runs while recording two outs against the Reds.
And now Milwaukee has placed Henderson on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Henderson has had some issues maintaining peak velocity, but that wasn’t really a huge problem yesterday as he averaged 93.6 miles per hour with his fastball and topped out at 95 mph. That’s a slight dip from his peak levels, but hardly enough of a drop to scream injury.
Francisco Rodriguez has been flawless in the closer role, converting a league-leading 13 saves with a 0.00 ERA and 23/4 K/BB ratio in 16 innings, so Henderson wasn’t going to get his job back anytime soon anyway. And the Brewers’ bullpen has been so ridiculously good as a whole that moving everyone up one notch on the relief hierarchy may work out just fine in Henderson’s absence.
The Blue Jays announced on Friday that the club acquired outfielder Randal Grichuk from the Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Dominic Leone and minor league pitcher Conner Greene.
Grichuk, 26, became expendable when the Cardinals acquired Marcell Ozuna from the Marlins. With veteran Dexter Fowler in right field and Tommy Pham — who finished 11th in NL MVP Award balloting last season — in center, Grichuk was effectively pushed to the bench. He will get a shot at regular playing time in an outfield corner with the Jays. Grichuk has had solid numbers since debuting in 2014, but he hasn’t been able to recapture the magic of his 2015 campaign. Last year, he hit .238/.285/.473 with 22 home runs and 59 RBI in 442 plate appearances.
Grichuk will earn $2.8 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for two more years before becoming a free agent.
Leone, 26, posted an impressive 2.56 ERA with an 81/23 K/BB ratio across 70 1/3 innings last season. The right-hander will earn $1.085 million this season and then will become arbitration-eligible for the next three years. Leone certainly helps bolster the Cardinals’ bullpen and may work his way up to high-leverage innings behind closer Luke Gregerson.
Greene, 22, was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2013 draft. This past season, with Double-A New Hampshire, Greene compiled a 5.29 ERA with a 92/83 K/BB ratio in 132 2/3 innings. He throws hard, but control has been a big issue for the right-hander throughout his minor league career. The Cardinals may think they can help turn him around.