The Cubs have claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Twins, reports La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune (on Twitter). Hendriks had been designated for assignment last week to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for Phil Hughes.
Hendriks, still just 24 years old, makes for a nice buy-low option for the Cubs. The 25-year-old ranked sixth and seventh on the Baseball America's Top 10 Twins prospects lists from 2010-11 and has a solid minor league history. The Australian righty has a 3.61 ERA with 6.2 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 254 career innings at Triple-A and a career 2.99 ERA in the minors as a whole.
Hendriks has been unable to put it together in three Major League stints, however, as evidenced by his bloated 6.06 ERA in 156 innings. He's averaged 5.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in those 156 frames to go along with a below-average 40.4 percent ground-ball rate. Hendriks barely averages better than 90 mph on his fastball, leading to too much hard contact when it's in the zone, as evidenced by a 23.3 percent line-drive rate from his opponents that has helped bloat his career BABIP to .330.
In their most recent write-up of Hendriks (prior to the 2011 campaign), Baseball America noted that Hendriks had the ceiling of a No. 3 starter if he could continue to keep his fastball down in the zone to pair with a solid slider and above-average changeup.
Not surprising, I’m not sad to lose him but Albers was a much better DFA candidate due to age/upside reasons.
Andrew Albers? Noooo. Albers actually had some mlb success, something Hendricks could not and he had PLENTY of opportunities. It was time for him to move on.
Too early to tell. I wouldn’t bank on 4 good games and 5-6 terrible games, which is what Albers had.
Yes, Hendriks had chance after chance but he’s 3 to 4 years younger than Albers and can strike guys out (compared to Albers).
A 3.75 k/9 and 60 percent LOB is pretty awful, and that’s what Albers provided. Those are worse than Blackburn’s final year with the Twins.
I’d prefer to go with youth. There was a zero to 5 percent chance that Albers would have been claimed because he’s 28 and he can’t strike anyone out. I’m guessing if he gets to pitch with the Twins his ERA is going to be 4.50 or worse, likely worse.
Albers was a nice story for a few games. I’d be surprised if he amounts to anything more than a nice story.
Even if it is above 4.5…….Hendriks’ ERA is 6.06!! I don’t think Albers will ever be that high. Sure, he doesn’t strike guys out, but he is a lefty. If he can get a decent ground ball % then he will outperform Hendriks. Hendriks has had his fair chance, and now I would give Albers his fair chance. Of course, we are talking about 2 bottom feeder starters here so it may not matter either way:)
Worth a shot for the Cubs but this guy didn’t seem like a major league pitcher with the Twins.
I’m guessing he dominated the minors because he has good control, but once he got to the majors, his stuff just doesn’t play as well. Not sure if this is worth a spot on the 40 man roster.
He has an option left and he’s young so I’d say it’s worth the gamble. He is known as a nibbler with that control you speak of. Could get guys out in the minors with it, but hasn’t been able to in the majors. Also doesn’t really have an out pitch. In the majors, he was a line drive/HR machine.
Love this move for the cubs could easily be a solid rhp in the pen or compete for 5th spot in the rotation. Little risk decent reward
I agree. This was worth a gamble.
“Hendriks, still just 24 years old, makes for a nice buy-low option for the Cubs. The 25-year-old ranked sixth and seventh on the Baseball America’s Top 10 Twins prospects lists from 2010-11 and has a solid minor league history.”
So, how old is he?
At the end of the paragraph he turned 26.
It’s a good signing for the Cubbies. Any 24-year old thrower with a Minor League track record like his is worth a couple more shots. I was really rooting for Liam to succeed with the Twins, but he looked like a guaranteed loss in almost all of his starts. I’m glad it was the Cubs that snatched him. I honestly hope he succeeds on the Northside; the Cubs are my second favorite team.