Henderson tried waiting out shoulder inflammation
CINCINNATI -- Jim Henderson suspected something wasn't quite right with his shoulder in the last couple of weeks, but with nothing too painful happening to him when he pitched, he thought it best to give it time and see if there was improvement.
There wasn't. After being tagged for five runs in an ineffective relief appearance against the Reds on Thursday, the Brewers placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list and identified the problem as shoulder inflammation.
"It's a matter of dealing with it for a bit, maybe getting away with it, maybe not," Henderson said. "Instead of being selfish for me and the team, I'll take some time to strengthen the shoulder. I know when I'm right and strong, I'm a good pitcher and I can go out there and be strong and help the team out. That's what we're going to try to do."
Henderson said he often had trouble loosening the shoulder as he warmed up in the bullpen, especially during times when several days passed between appearances. He had only had one day between appearances when he faced the Reds Thursday, but less than a week prior, he had a stretch where he didn't pitch for five days.
Henderson gave up four hits, walked a batter and was charged with five earned runs while recording only two outs in the Brewers' 8-3 loss to the Reds on Thursday. His diagnosis the next day gave some clarity as to why that outing was so ineffective.
"It's something that he was trying to get through," manager Ron Roenicke said. "One outing would be pretty good ... and the next outing it would feel like he couldn't quite get loose. Last night was another one of those."
Henderson was the projected closer when Spring Training began in February, but the Brewers signed Francisco Rodriguez as a reinforcement. Henderson's velocity was down through most of the spring, and by the time camp broke, Rodriguez had officially won the closer job.
Henderson will rest the shoulder for a couple of days, but a strengthening and rehab program isn't far off. The right-hander is hopeful he won't need to exceed the minimum 15 days of DL time, although he suspects he'll need to go through a Minor League rehab stint before returning.
To replace Henderson on the roster, the Brewers called up outfielder Caleb Gindl from Triple-A Nashville. The 25-year-old hit .284/.352/.421 with two home runs and six RBIs in 25 games for Nashville. He made his Major League debut last season, batting .242/.340/.439 with five homers and 14 RBIs in 57 games for the Brewers. Gindl started in right field and hit seventh in the order on Friday.
"I got off to a slow start, but in the last two weeks, it's really turned around," Gindl said. "I'm seeing the ball really well. Things are definitely picking up for me."