Henderson advanced to Nashville
Persistent rains at Double-A Huntsville were part of what prompted a promotion to Triple-A Nashville for rehabbing Brewers reliever Jim Henderson, who is “still a little ways away” from rejoining the big league bullpen, according to general manager Doug Melvin.
Melvin did cite positive progress for Henderson, who has battled a troublesome right shoulder since Spring Training, but declined to provide a report of recent velocities. It was the lack of zip on Henderson’s fastball in the spring that prompted the Brewers to anoint Francisco Rodriguez the closer prior to the regular season’s first pitch.
“I don’t want to get into [radar gun readings],” Melvin said. “We want to get him back to throwing strikes. … We thought he was making some progress, but we want to make sure he’s completely healthy and back to throwing strikes on a consistent basis.”
Henderson is on his second 30-day Minor League rehabilitation assignment. He was recalled from the first one in May after the shoulder flared up again, and was sent back out on July 3 for another 30-day stint.
Melvin said another rehabbing reliever, Tyler Thornburg, who has been on the DL since early June because of a right elbow injury, is throwing off the mound in Arizona.
“We hope to get him back at some point [before the end of this season],” Melvin said.
The Brewers are closely monitoring the progress of both of those pitchers, who played prominent roles during the team’s 20-8 March and April, as the July 31 nonwaiver Trade Deadline draws near. The Angels made the first strike on the relief market Friday when they executed a six-player swap with the Padres to land San Diego closer Huston Street.
Asked whether the Brewers had checked in with the Padres on Street, Melvin said, “I check in on a lot of guys.”
Much of the analysis of Friday’s trade centered on the price paid by the Angels, who received Street (for the rest of this season and all of next season) and a relief prospect in exchange for four prospects, including Los Angeles’ consensus top prospect. Melvin pointed out that when the Brewers acquired set-up man Scott Linebrink from the Padres in July 27, the price was three quality prospects.
“Relievers become costly for the few innings they pitch,” Melvin said.
Follow me on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy