Pitcher Clay Hensley has retired, James Larken Smith of KFFE reports. Hensley, 34, spent seven seasons in the big leagues, pitching for the Padres, Marlins, and most recently the Giants in 2012. Over 517 career innings, Hensley posted an even 4.00 ERA with 317 strikeouts.
Last year, Hensley spent time in Triple-A with the Louisville Bats (Reds) and Nashville Sounds (Brewers), and also pitched with the Sugar Land Skeeters of the Atlantic League. He had been trying to get back to the big leagues with the Nationals in spring training. Though Hensley didn’t allow a run, he served up five hits and four walks while striking out three in 4 1/3 innings. The Nationals released him in March 20.
As first reported by beat writer Bill Ladson of MLB.com, the Nationals have signed right-handed reliever Clay Hensley to a minor league contract with a formal invitation to major league spring training.
Hensley posted a 2.16 ERA and 77 strikeouts in 75 innings for the Marlins in 2010 and he won a World Series ring in 2012 with the Giants. But he spent the entire 2013 season in either Triple-A or independent ball and is highly doubtful to find a spot in the Nats’ talented bullpen for the start of the 2014 campaign.
Hensley, 34, owns a 4.00 career ERA and 1.37 career WHIP in 517 major league innings.
I’ve always been confused by the notion that mediocre players somehow deserve extra credit for being on championship teams, which is a fairly prevalent cliche in all sports.
You’ll see a random role player referred to as “a winner” all the time thanks to his having great teammates–count the ringzzz and all that–but this note about Dusty Baker and the Reds’ bullpen depth from John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer takes it to another level:
Baker looked up that roster board in his office. “You’ve a guy up there that pitched in the World Series last year and a guy who almost threw a perfect game on as non-roster players.”
Baker was referring Clay Hensley, who was on the Giants last year, and Armando Galarraga, who just missed a perfect game two years ago.
Clay Hensley had a 4.62 ERA for the Giants last season, allowing 80 baserunners in 51 innings, so the idea that his pitching in the World Series somehow makes him a better player seems absurd. Oh, and also: Clay Hensley did not pitch in the World Series. Or any of the Giants’ playoff games. In fact, they left him off the playoff roster entirely, presumably because he didn’t pitch well.
This isn’t a big deal or anything, obviously, but just saying.
The Reds announced late this afternoon that they have signed reliever Clay Hensley to a minor league contract. The deal includes an invite to spring training.
Hensley posted a 4.62 ERA and 42/30 K/BB ratio over 50 2/3 innings last season out of the Giants’ bullpen. The 33-year-old right-hander actually had a 2.95 ERA as late as August 2, but then struggled through a groin injury and was left off the team’s postseason roster. He averaged just 85.5 mph on his fastball, a three mph drop-off from where he was when he had a 2.95 ERA with the Marlins in 2010.
The Reds already have a pretty full bullpen, so a lot of things will have to go Hensley’s way for him to make the Opening Day roster.
There was a tremendous pitcher’s duel in Chicago tonight, as the Brewers edged the White Sox 1-0 in 10 innings.
With the Brewers scoring in the top of the 10th, Zack Greinke was able to get the win. He allowed three hits in nine innings of work. Closer John Axford, who has been very shaky, took over from there and pitched a hitless inning for his 13th save.
Chris Sale was just about as good for the White Sox, allowing four hits in eight innings. Addison Reed followed that with a perfect ninth, but Jesse Crain couldn’t keep it going in the 10th and took his first loss of the year after Aramis Ramirez doubled and Rickie Weeks singled in pinch-runner Nyjer Morgan.
Today’s game was the second this season to go scoreless into extra innings. The Giants beat the Phillies 1-0 in 11 innings on April 18. Matt Cain went nine scoreless and Cliff Lee went 10 scoreless in that one, with Clay Hensley eventually getting the win.