Henderson sent back to Maryvale

Brewers reliever Jim Henderson’s 30-day rehabilitation assignment expired Friday but all parties agreed he was not ready to rejoin the big league bullpen, manager Ron Roenicke said.

So, for the second time, Henderson was sent to the team’s facility in Phoenix to continue strengthening a right shoulder that has given him trouble since Spring Training.

“We asked him about it, we gave him a couple of options, and he said he didn’t think he was ready to be activated,” Roenicke said. “I still don’t think something’s right. His velocity is still down. It’s OK. For another pitcher, it’s probably pretty good.

“But the thing is, if we bring him with us, I don’t think I can pitch him three days in a row. And face it, these guys have to be able to do things like that. I just don’t know with our roster and where it is, how we would be able to do something like that, especially if he says he doesn’t feel he’s ready.”

Henderson was 28-for-32 in save chances as the Brewers closer last season and was supposed reprise that role in 2014 before spring velocity concerns prompted a switch to Francisco Rodriguez. Working in a setup role, Henderson posted a 7.14 ERA in 14 appearances before the Brewers placed him on the disabled list.

He had shoulder surgery as a Cubs Minor Leaguer in 2008, a year before the Brewers signed him, but a myriad of tests this season has revealed no physical damage beyond what’s customary for a 31-year-old pitcher.

“I don’t think he’s hurting, he just can’t get back to where he feels like he’s ready,” Roenicke said. “He hit 94 [mph], but he was not pitching at 94.”

Henderson’s average fastball last season was 95.3 mph, and he routinely touched 98 mph.

Roenicke said he still hopes Henderson can contribute before the end of the season, but the Brewers have also been working to acquire a right-handed reliever in a trade.


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