Notes: Hendrickson clears waivers
Brewers considering trade options for embattled right-hander
PHOENIX -- Brewers right-hander Ben Hendrickson, the onetime top pitching prospect who has struggled to jump to the Majors, cleared waivers on Sunday and was sent outright to Triple-A Nashville.
Because it was his first outright, Hendrickson must accept the assignment. But Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said that the team will listen to trade offers.
"I told him we wouldn't stand in the way of an opportunity," said Melvin, who joined assistant GM Gord Ash and manager Ned Yost in delivering the news to Hendrickson.
Hendrickson was upset, and he stepped onto a back field at Maryvale Baseball Park for a lengthy telephone conversation with his agent. Hendrickson was told that at least three other teams had already expressed interest, including the Nationals and Padres.
Now 26, Hendrickson is 54-48 with a 3.41 ERA in the Minors over the last seven seasons, but he went 1-10 with a 7.41 ERA in stints with the Brewers in 2004 and 2006.
"When I've had opportunities, I haven't done the job, so hopefully, I can get traded in the next couple of days," Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson was told to take Monday off and report to the Minor League complex on Tuesday. He hopes to be part of a different organization by then.
"A change of scenery might be a good thing," he said. "There's no room on this team. They have all of their starters and their bullpen figured out. That's the way it goes. I had opportunities in '04 and '05 and '06. I wasn't ready in '04, but I was ready last year, and I didn't do what I needed to do."
The Brewers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
No deal: The Boston Red Sox reportedly sent a scout to Friday's Brewers-Angels game for a look at right-hander Derrick Turnbow, sparking trade rumors on the Internet. But there's nothing doing, Melvin said.
"Somebody told me that there were rumors out there that we're shopping Turnbow. That's not true," Melvin said. "We haven't even given it a thought. In the offseason, there was more discussion.
"I guess this is what happens when scouts eat in the same room as the media," Melvin joked.
Ditto to another lunchroom rumor about the Padres taking a look at Brady Clark.
"I haven't heard from them," Melvin said.
Melvin did get one call on Sunday from an opposing GM, but he declined to divulge the subject. The Brewers have an abundance of outfielders on their roster, but recent injuries to Laynce Nix (oblique) and Gabe Gross (hamstring) have left the team somewhat thin. Gross recently returned to action, but he has yet to play the outfield.
"Things change day-to-day," Melvin said. "If everybody's healthy, then maybe we have an issue. But Gabe and Laynce are hurt right now."
Different results: Five days earlier, Ben Sheets breezed through five scoreless innings against the Mariners. Sunday was another matter.
Sheets was tagged for five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings, by far his worst of four outings this spring. Raul Ibanez hit a two-run homer off Sheets in the third inning.
"My offspeeds weren't that good today," Sheets said. "I threw three or four changeups, and two of them got hit pretty hard. [A] curveball got hit out of the park."
Sheets typically struggles to grip his curveball in Arizona's dry air. He was also told by pitching coach Mike Maddux that he seemed to fight his mechanics beginning in the third inning.
"It was bad," Sheets said. "I was fighting the grip. Even when I get ahead and try to bounce one, I just don't for some reason."
The good news, according to Sheets, was that he and catcher Johnny Estrada had their best rapport of the spring. The Brewers acquired Estrada in a November trade with the Diamondbacks.
"I realized from the get-go that he likes to work fast," Estrada said. "I love pitchers that want to work fast."
Yost said that he would readjust his pitching rotation after Tuesday's off-day, but he still will not formally name Sheets the team's Opening Day starter. The Brewers will open the regular season on April 2 against the Dodgers.
Last call: Damian Miller made his Cactus League debut in the late innings of Sunday's game and grounded out to shortstop in his only at-bat. Miller had been sidelined by a calf strain, but he caught a Minor League game on Saturday and will catch Jeff Suppan in Minor League game on Tuesday, when the rest of the team is off. Miller has yet to pair with newcomers Suppan and Claudio Vargas in a game. ... Geoff Jenkins hit his first home run of the spring, an opposite-field solo shot off Mariners starter Felix Hernandez. ... While Chris Capuano makes his scheduled start in Minor League camp, prospect Yovani Gallardo will start Monday's "A" game against Sean Gallagher and the Cubs at 3:05 p.m. CT. The game will be televised in Milwaukee on WMLW Channel 41 and on MLB.TV.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.