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Orioles claim right-hander Liam Hendriks off waivers from Cubs

BaseballMajor League BaseballMinnesota TwinsChicago CubsLiam HendriksGrant Balfour

The Orioles claimed right-handed pitcher Liam Hendriks off waivers from the Chicago Cubs, the team announced Monday.

The addition of the 24-year-old Hendriks, however, doesn't alter the Orioles' offseason search for a starting pitcher to help solidify the club's rotation, executive vice president Dan Duquette said.

Hendriks was 2-13 with a 6.06 ERA in 30 major league games (28 starts) over the past three seasons for the Minnesota Twins before being claimed off waivers by the Cubs on Dec. 13.

Last season, Hendriks was 1-3 with a 6.85 ERA in 10 games (eight starts) with the Twins. He was also 4-8 with a 4.67 ERA in 16 starts with the Twins’ Triple-A club in Rochester, N.Y.

Duquette said Hendriks can add pitching depth to the organization and could also serve as a spot starter in the major leagues since he has a minor league option remaining.

"He’s just 24 years old," Duquette said. "He’s got a good arm, and he has experience in the big leagues. We think he’ll be a good addition to give us some depth. He also had very, very good control in the minors. We’re hoping that he can show the kind of control in the big leagues that he did in the minors."

In parts of three Triple-A seasons, Hendriks averaged just 1.6 walks per nine innings and recorded a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.78. In the majors, Hendriks issued 2.7 walks per nine innings and had a 2.17 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

A native of Australia who was signed as an international free agent when he was 18 years old, Hendriks had spent his entire career with the Twins before this offseason.

Hendriks started for the Twins in the Orioles' home opener in 2013, allowing four runs and eight hits in 4 2/3 innings. He received a no-decision, and the Orioles won that game, 9-5, after first baseman Chris Davis hit a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Hendriks will be the third Australian-born player in team history when he makes his Orioles debut, joining John Stephens (2002) and Damian Moss (2003). Interestingly, Grant Balfour, whose two-year, $15-million deal with the Orioles fell through last week because of concerns with his physical, also hails from Australia.

With the move, the Orioles now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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BaseballMajor League BaseballMinnesota TwinsChicago CubsLiam HendriksGrant Balfour
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