The Baltimore Orioles claimed a pitcher off of waivers yesterday, although hardly one that will make anyone forget the Grant Balfour situation. The club claimed Liam Hendriks, formerly of the Minnesota Twins. Hendricks, 24, has an underwhelming stat line in a sense, with a 6.06 ERA over the course of parts of three years in the majors. He’s mainly a fastball pitcher but he can also mix in a slider when needed. And get this – like Balfour, Hendriks is Australian. So if the O’s are intent on signing someone from down unduh, looks like they got their guy.
You might remember Liam also as the guy who started for Minnesota at Camden Yards in last season’s home opener. Or if you’re like me, you might not – it’s tough to remember who started for the opposition in specific games! From the outset this appears to be a fairly underwhelming pickup off the scrap heap by Dan Duquette. However I would submit that one of Duquette’s strengths seems to be finding those diamonds in the rough on waiver wires and rule 5 drafts. That won’t necessarily fill seats among other things, but it’s something that he’s good at. It’s entirely possible that Hendriks might be reborn after working with Rick Peterson among others.
The Orioles aren’t sure quite yet whether Hendriks will be a candidate to start or whether he’ll end up a middle reliever, however he’s someone that came across as having value to Dan Duquette. Ultimately this is a piece that’s being brought in with depth in mind, as have been many pitching signings in the Duquette/Showalter era. Time will tell how it ends up.