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.
The Tigers signed catcher Josh Thole to a minor league deal, per an announcement from the Double-A Erie SeaWolves on Friday. Thole is expected to report to Double-A Erie, where he’ll split time with starting catcher Jake Rogers.
Thole, 31, has not appeared in a major or minor league game since 2016. He signed a minors deal with the Diamondbacks back in 2017, but was sidelined through most of the season after undergoing hamstring surgery in April. He was released by the team during spring training and failed to catch on with another major league club through the first two months of the 2018 season.
While the veteran backstop hasn’t tested his skills in pro ball for several years now, he held his own during a short-lived run with the independent New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League. Over 17 games in 2018, Thole batted .317/.425/.367 with three extra-base hits and a .791 OPS in 75 plate appearances. He’s expected to serve as catching depth within the Tigers’ organization, but may yet work his way back to the majors if he can get his average back over the Mendoza Line again — a feat he hasn’t managed since 2015.