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After 10 years in minors, former Expos pick debuts

Jul 26, 2012, 10:52 PM EDT

Jim Henderson Getty Images

29-year-old Jim Henderson, called up by the Brewers earlier in the day, made his major league debut Thursday night, retiring all three Nationals he faced in his inning of work.

Henderson was a 10-year minor league veteran, having been picked by Expos in the 26th round of the 2003 draft. After he failed as a starter in low-A ball in 2005, the Nationals shifted him to the bullpen, where he’s been ever since. His results have largely been mixed in stints in three different farm systems, but he broke through in Triple-A this year, amassing a 1.69 ERA and 15 saves as Nashville’s closer.

While Henderson had a 5.46 ERA in Double-A in 2010 and a 4.28 mark between Double- and Triple-A last year, his mid-90s fastball has kept him employed. He probably doesn’t have enough to go with it to contribute as more than a middle reliever, but it’d be a nice story if he happened to surprise.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 26, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    And he didn’t give up 5 runs and blow a save which is a good debut and progress for a Brewer reliever.

  2. redux23 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:02 PM

    exacting some revenge on the zombie expos

  3. charlescub80 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    If I remember correctly the Expos had some pretty good picks back in the day.

    • dondada10 - Jul 26, 2012 at 11:50 PM

      They essentially rebuilt the Indians for Bartolo Colon. Imagine if Cleveland had kept Brandon Phillips.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      My Indianapolis Indians were the AAA team for Montreal in the 80’s…

      The 1989 team had Delino Deshields (age 20), Larry Walker (age 22), Marquis Grissom (age 22) and Randy Johnson (age 25).

      Andres Galarraga was 24 on the 1985 team, and Moises Alou was 23 on the 1990 team.

      The joys of having a farm team for a well run small market team. I got to see some real good young talent as a kid at old Bush Stadium, and those teams won several American Association Championships.

      • stlouis1baseball - Jul 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

        Absolutely Blue. We used to regularly take in games at the old Bush Stadium with our little league teams. Remember Razor Shines?

      • istillbelieveinblue - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:30 PM

        I don’t remember Razor…but I do remember Rrrraaaaaaazoooooor Shiiiiiiiines!!! We used to get box seats near the Indians’ bullpen. One Sunday afternoon Razor was warming up a pitcher, and flipped the baseball to my brother after he was done. We still have that ball.

        He came through Indy as the manager of the White Sox’ AAA team a few years ago, and the Tribe honored him before the game. :)

  4. mianfr - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Great for him. I bet he’d say it was all worth it.

    Even if it’s just a single at bat or inning pitched, you have to root for the Minor League lifers who get a call up.

    • istillbelieveinblue - Jul 27, 2012 at 7:32 AM

      It’s like the Doc in Field of Dreams. He just wanted one at bat in the majors.

      • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 27, 2012 at 11:58 AM

        Enough with that movie already! I’m 100% sure Henderson wants more than one inning in the Majors…

        Its the 21st century, the name of the game is $$$…and he ain’t getting much of it if he’s up for a cup of coffee.

      • istillbelieveinblue - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM

        Come on turdfurgerson68, I was just making a lighthearted movie reference…don’t make me send you a link to James Earl Jones’ monologue! 😛 I realize this isn’t the 1950’s anymore. I hope this guy gets a very large cup of coffee. :)

      • turdfurgerson68 - Jul 27, 2012 at 1:51 PM

        Now you’re talking…hope he gets the Big Gulp of coffee…Go Henderson go…make that $$$!

  5. matt20hew - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:17 AM

    Reblogged this on Today's News.

  6. dawgpoundmember - Jul 27, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    an expos draftee, just now getting the call to the majors….my mind is blown

  7. kkolchak - Jul 27, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    Shades of Rick Short, who was a ten-year, 32-year-old, minor league infielder who got his cup of coffee with the Nats during the 2005 season and hit a couple of home runs before heading off to Japan in 2006. Short batted an incredible .383/.456/1.025 in 108 games at AAA that year before finally getting The Call.

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