Ousted Brewers closer Jim Henderson appeared on 1250 WSSP Tuesday morning, a day after the first save opportunity of the season unexpectedly went to Francisco Rodriguez. A variety of topics were discussed in the interview, but they got the big question out of the way early: what happened?
“Nothing happened. It’s something I’ve been through since I’ve been in Milwaukee, you get moved and and out. Whoever’s throwing the ball best, that’s who you want in the 9th. … I know I didn’t have a great spring, but I was successful at the end of spring and hopefully we can continue that.”
Did Ron Roenicke talk to him at all before making the decision to put K-Rod in the 9th?
“Ron talked to me two days ago on our off day. It was a little shocking, you have to admit that, but at the same time I understand. I wasn’t throwing the ball well in spring. The ball wasn’t coming out the way it was last year. It was 91-94, okay for most people, but that’s not how I need to be pitching.”
So if he isn’t the Capital-C-Closer, what’s his role right now?
“That’s a mystery to me. (laughs) We’ll see how it goes. I think it’d be great to just get out there, I don’t really care what inning right now. I just want to go out there and compete.”
While the public bait-and-switch caught everyone by surprise, it looks like Roenicke at least let the parties involved know ahead of time, and will give Henderson the chance to win his old job back — again. He also seems to have a reasonable reaction to temporarily being displaced: he wasn’t cutting it, he knew he wasn’t up to par and he didn’t want to hurt the team’s chances of winning while he tried to figure things out with games on the line.
Rodriguez gets the 9th inning for now, but as we saw on Opening Day, his outings will tend to be adventures. Enough 30-Pitches-of-Terror outings, and Henderson may be back in the 9th inning sooner rather than later.