How nice of Mark Hendrickson to announce last night at a sports banquet in Hanover, Pa. that he agreed to terms with the Orioles.
Maybe I should have placed my last 12 calls to him over there. I was doing it all wrong.
At least he saved me from making No. 13 later today. (I almost made No. 2 when I heard about this, if you know what I mean.)
I’ve been predicting this move since, oh, around October. Three months later, it’s happened.
If you wait long enough, you’ll eventually be proven right.
“Last year, I kind of did a little bit of everything,” Hendrickson told the Hanover Evening Sun. “This year, I’ll probably go down with the focus of being in the bullpen. My numbers in the bullpen were, selfishly speaking, the best of anybody in the bullpen, so I feel like that’s a role I can really do well.”
The Orioles put Hendrickson on the back burner while focusing on a No. 1 starter, closer and two corner infielders. They wanted him back. He wanted to come back. It would have been hard to screw up this one.
Hendrickson can serve as a swingman, middle reliever or situational guy. He’s not likely to re-enter the rotation unless there’s an emergency, though he ended the season with three straight quality starts.
Hendrickson was 4-0 with one save and a 3.44 ERA as a reliever, and 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 11 starts. He didn’t allow an earned run in 30 of his 42 relief appearances.
The Orioles could add one more lefty to the bullpen before spring training, though we might be looking at a non-roster invitee. And they’ll have to clear room on the 40-man for Hendrickson once he passes a physical and signs his contract.
Perhaps we’ll be crossing off one of the names that we tossed around yesterday while debating the Dennis Sarfate move.