|Liam Hendriks allowed three runs in 6.1 innings Tuesday.|
FSN made it sound during the pregame that Hendriks was pitching for his rotation job. If so, it suggests some misplaced priorities in the organization, that people are taking the "we're only 7.5 games out of first" thing too seriously.
Yeah, the Twins entered Tuesday's game 7.5 games out of first. They also entered it with the second-worst record in the American League. And they exited Tuesday 8.5 out of first, and with the worst record in the American League.
Making decisions on the basis that this is a contending team strikes me as a bit foolish. Priority One should be: Identify, develop and protect the pieces of a future contending rotation.
Hendriks, for all his struggles in the majors this season — and he has indeed struggled — is more likely to be such a piece than anybody they can replace him with right now. His numbers in Rochester (5-0 in seven starts, 1.94 ERA, 42 strikeouts in 46 innings) suggest that hitters in the International League have nothing to teach him.
Hendriks' growing pains may be frustrating for Ron Gardenhire and Co., but they're for the best in the long run.