Aug 30, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Liam Hendriks (62) throws during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
The Toronto Blue Jays made a pair of 40-man roster moves on Friday, just as camp gets into full swing. According to a tweet from Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays have claimed right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers and designated infielder Brent Morel to make room for Hendriks on the 40-man roster.
For Hendriks, this marks the third time this winter that he’s been claimed off waivers, having been plucked by the Chicago Cubs on December 13th and then again just 10 days later by the Baltimore Orioles. That’s a lot of movement for a 25-year-old pitcher with a career mark of 2-13 and a lifetime ERA of 6.06 in 156 innings, all for the Minnesota Twins.
However, Hendriks has a solid minor league track record. Over 100 appearances (98 starts) in the minors, Hendriks owns a 42-28 record with a 2.99 ERA, a 7.6 K/9 ratio, and a sparkling 1.6 BB/9 ratio. His performance in the past was enough to rank him 7th in the Twins organization after the 2011 season, but he’s been unable to capture that over his 30 Major League appearances.
With one minor league option remaining, the Blue Jays could stash Hendriks at Triple-A Buffalo and see what they have there, then use him as depth should the need arise. Unless something happens that drastically circumvents the team’s pitching depth chart, the Todd Redmond look-alike is likely to spend most of his season in the minors, if the Jays keep him long enough.
The designation of Brent Morel is a bit surprising, as he was seen as a possible sleeper for the Blue Jays 25th man, especially with position flexibility and the fact that Toronto was said to be working him out at second base. The 26-year-old doesn’t have a ton of power. but his .287/.344/.434 OPS in the minors, coupled with solid glove work, will likely find him a suitor shortly. It would be a surprise if the 10 days pass and he falls back to the Blue Jays.
Will this open up the floodgates for the Blue Jays playing the waiver wire games again this year?