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Lesser Brewers: Jim Henderson

Jim Henderson was the sixth-most valuable Brewer in 2013. Injury ruined his 2014 campaign, though.

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

In 2013, Jim Henderson pitched to a 2.70 ERA and 3.58 FIP while notching an 11.3 K/9. That performance allowed him to take over the team's closing role, earning 28 saves while finishing 45 games.

Entering 2014, he was presumed to be the Brewers' closer. Henderson pitched nine innings in spring training, allowing six runs on nine hits and five walks, though he struck out seven batters. That performance was enough to demote him from closer, but that change was only supposed to be temporary.

Henderson would up being one of the primary set-up men for Rodriguez through April, but never looked dominant. Just five of his 14 appearances were without a hit or walk, and in one of those Henderson was called on for just one out. Still, he only allowed a run in three games -- that includes a five-run outing on May 1 against the Reds that saw his season ERA rise to 7.15.

That May 1 outing would also prove to be the last of 2014 for Henderson. The next day, he was placed on the 15-day DL with shoulder problems. He made one rehab appearance in late-May for the Double-A Huntsville Stars, then got shut down again. In July, he made eight more minor-league rehab appearances and, at least statistically, looked pretty good. Then he twinged something again and, in mid-August, the Brewers finally decided to shut him down for the season.

Henderson had a clean-up procedure of his labrum and rotator cuff after being shut down, with an estimated recovery time of four months. That should be enough for him to be healthy for spring training of 2015. If so, he could compete to earn back his closer job with Jonathan Broxton being the other likely candidate for the role on the roster right now. A top of the rotation of Broxton-Henderson-Tyler Thornburg-Will Smith could end up being pretty danged good.

Last year, Henderson ranked as the sixth most valuable Brewer. A year later and he was barely able to play in 2014. A healthy 2015 will go a long way toward the Brewers strengthening their bullpen.

Best Game

I dunno, he was a reliever who pitched in 14 games. He struck out the side against the Padres on April 22, so I guess that game is his best. Henderson has 17 strikeouts in just 11.1 innings, by the way. That's pretty good, especially for pitching with shoulder issues.

Contract Status

One of the best things about Henderson is he's cheap. He won't hit arbitration until after 2015 and even at that point won't be terribly expensive for a couple years. The Brewers should still be able to get plenty of use out of him.