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10 years to reach the majors, 10 days to become a closer

Aug 8, 2012, 5:53 PM EDT

Jim Henderson Getty Images

That I decided to note 29-year-old Jim Henderson’s major league arrival with a blog entry two weeks ago was largely due to the fact that he was an Expos draft pick; if he had instead been selected by the Reds or Giants 10 years ago, I probably would have let it pass without comment.

Henderson, though, is turning out to be something quite a bit more than a novelty act for the Brewers. On Wednesday, he picked up his second save in 24 hours, throwing a hitless ninth inning to protect a 3-2 lead against the Reds.

In all, Henderson has pitched seven innings in his two weeks with the Brewers and he’s currently sporting a 1.29 ERA and a 10/1 K/BB ratio.

Henderson isn’t some wily veteran getting by on guile or a wacky delivery, either; he sports a legitimate mid-90s fastball, which is why he kept getting looks in the minors despite underwhelming numbers. If he had better command or a better slider, he would have reached the majors years ago.

So far, Henderson is showing improved command. I’m still not very impressed with his slider, but it looks a whole lot better when he gets ahead with his fastball. The Brewers probably aren’t really looking at him as any sort of fixture in the closer’s role, but with the way he’s throwing, there’s reason to think he could be a useful piece in the pen beyond this season.

  1. bigleagues - Aug 8, 2012 at 6:40 PM

    I always loved The Muppet Show!

    Oh, wait! Wrong dude!


    • shaggytoodle - Aug 8, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      He will do well as a closer as long as he doesn’t give to many walka walka walkas?

    • nightman13 - Aug 8, 2012 at 11:34 PM

      Who thumbs downs a Muppet reference? What has this world come to?

      • bigleagues - Aug 9, 2012 at 12:14 AM

        I know! But hey what can I do? You’d think I’d at least get some credit for setting up shaggttoodle’s excellent Fozzy one liner.

  2. garryfish - Aug 8, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    “The Rookie” Part 2

  3. meadowlark89 - Aug 8, 2012 at 10:35 PM

    Wow drafted by the Expos, that was a long time ago, but it’s always nice to hear a story like this. Hope everything turns out good for him.

  4. cggarb - Aug 9, 2012 at 1:40 AM

    To date, he’s retired Zack Cozart (82 OPS+), Drew Stubbs (85), Brandon Phillips (103), Xavier Paul (hitting well in 27 PA), Dioner Navarro (1 for 9), and Chris Heisey (89 OPS+). (Stubbs walked the second time he faced Henderson).

    Not exactly Walker-Bichette-Castilla-Galarraga

    Of course, that’s basically what “closers” face half the time, so maybe he is accomplishing something.

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