Thursday, March 19, 2015


Mark Hendrickson’s bid to make a comeback with Baltimore after becoming a grandfather did not work out, but as surely as one career slows down another gets a timely boost.

Drew Rucinski took advantage of a surprise start for the Los Angeles Angels when C. J. Wilson was under the weather this week, and all the 26-year-old out of the Frontier League (Rockford, IL) did was turn in four innings of hitless work in an 11-0 romp over Colorado.

That effort has to help the right-hander’s chances either now or in the future. Thirty-two of Rucinski’s 48 pitches–he faced one batter in the fifth–were strikes as he fanned five and allowed only one walk in lowering his Cactus League earned run average to 2.45 for 7.1 innings and two relief appearances in addition to the start.

The Neenah, WI native logged his first 13 days of major league service time last September and posted a 4.91 ERA for three efforts out of the bullpen. He had an 11-11, 3.28 record for his combined work at Rockford in 2011-13, and was 10-6, 3.14 in 26 starts for Class AA Arkansas last season.

As for Hendrickson, who finished last season closing for the York (PA) Revolution in the Atlantic League, his re-invented sidearm delivery at 40 years and nine months was not sufficient for another opportunity with Baltimore, which had invited the 6-foot-9 onetime NBA player to camp after an offseason workout.

Hendrickson, whose first major league spring training was in 2000, has a 48-54 career record in the majors. He took a positive attitude to camp in Sarasota, FL, probably knowing his chances were slim.

“If people in York County can see me doing something that’s probably against the odds, maybe that will push them to do something they thought they couldn’t do,” he told before camp opened.


Speedy Antoan Richardson, who stands only 5-foot-8, has won a promotion since spring training started to the Texas Rangers’ 40-man roster. Now, perhaps the outfielder, 31, can make the Opening Day roster.

Richardson, who play Independent Baseball in Schaumburg, IL for 27 games and stole 20 bases when he was between affiliated organizations in 2009, has only 22 major league games on his lengthy career resume, but he is well remembered for scoring the winning run on Derek Jeter’s Yankee Stadium finale last September.

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