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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Fiers) at Minnesota (Hendriks)

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Michael Fiers has the most awkward batting stance ever.
Michael Fiers has the most awkward batting stance ever.

Liam Hendriks' (0-2, 9.00) major league career is off to a rough start. He started four games in 2011 for the Minnesota Twins and had a 6.107 ERA and 4.10 FIP. He has made another four starts for the Twins this season, and is off to an even rougher start. He currently is sporting a 9.00 ERA and a 6.51 FIP. Just two of his eight starts have been of the quality variety. Hendriks' very first major league start saw him hold the White Sox to three runs in seven innings. His first start this season was the best of his career thus far as he allowed only one earned run in six innings to the powerful Texas Rangers. However, he has given up thirteen runs in a combined 6.1 innings over his last two starts, after which he was sent back to the minors. This will be his first appearance for the Twins since May 2.

Hendriks, who is from Perth, Australia, has had a successful minor league career. The Twin's signed him out of high school as an undrafted free agent in 2007. Since then, he has a minor league ERA of 2.69 with 385 strikeouts to just 73 walks. He also has a miniscule 0.3 HR/9 over five minor league seasons. Despite that minor league success, the 23-year-old hasn't quite figured it out at the major league level, clearly.

Hendriks throws five pitches: A 90 MPH four seamer (91%), a 73 MPH curveball (15%), an 82 MPH slider (14%), a 91 MPH two seamer (11%), and an 83 MPH changeup (10%).

Hendriks has not faced any current major leaguer more than three times. He has not faced any current Brewer at all.

Hendriks' minor league career is very similar to the man he is facing today. Like Hendriks, Michael Fiers (3-3, 4.50) has had an excellent minor league career. Fiers has a 2.80 ERA over three minor league seasons, and also has an exellent K/BB ratio as he has struck out 370 batters to just 91 walks. Fiers has been a little more successful at the major league level, however, with a 2.95 FIP. Fiers has an 8.50 K/9 versus just a 1.00 BB/9.

Despite the great strikeout and walk numbers, Fiers has allowed four earned runs in each of his last two starts after allowing just one run in his first major league start. He has also been getting hit hard, with eight and ten hits in five and six innings, respectively, over his previous two appearances. With Marco Estrada getting closer to a return, a good start from Fiers could go a long way in keeping a spot in the Brewers rotation.

Fiers has, of course, not faced any Twins' players yet.

The Brewers' lineup doesn't seem to be out yet. If you see it, feel free to post it in the comments.

In the bullpen:

John Axford pitched .2 innings (22 pitches) Thursday and 1 inning (10 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe faced 1.2 innings (23 pitches) last night.
Manny Parra pitched 0.1 innings (5 pitches) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched .1 innings (6 pitches) Thursday and had pitched in five straight games.
Jose Veras faced one batter (5 pitches) Wednesday.
Tim Dillard last pitched on Friday.
Juan Perez is a nice bag carrier for the rest of the team.