Note: This page is for the pitcher Jim Henderson who made his major league debut in 2012. For other with similar names, click here.
James Duffy Henderson
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 5", Weight 190 lb.
- School Tennessee Wesleyan College
- High School Central Memorial High School
- Debut July 26, 2012
- Final Game October 2, 2016
- Born October 21, 1982 in Calgary, AB CAN
Jim Henderson reached the major leagues in 2012, in his 10th professional season.
Henderson was picked by the Montréal Expos in the 26th round of the 2003 amateur draft out of college. He was 1-1 with a 6.93 ERA in 24 games for the Vermont Expos and had a save and a 2.25 ERA in 4 games for the GCL Expos. Jimmy was 2-6 with a 2.59 ERA for the 2004 Vermont Expos. He was 8th in the New York-Penn League in ERA.
Henderson went 9-11 with a 5.47 ERA for the 2005 Savannah Sand Gnats. He finished among the South Atlantic League leaders in earned runs (91, 2nd), homers surrendered (20, 3rd) and was 5th in losses. In 2006, Jimmy pitched for Savannah (0-1, 3.38 in 3 G) and the Potomac Nationals (2-2, Sv, 4.50 in 25 G). The Chicago Cubs picked him in the minor league section of the 2006 Rule V Draft.
The Calgary native spent 2007 with the Tennessee Smokies (4-3, 10 Sv, 1.86 in 42 games) and the Iowa Cubs (3-0, 5.54 in 8 games), making his debuts in both AA and AAA. In 2008, he allowed only one run in 6 1/3 innings for Tennessee and registered a save but gave up 5 runs in 3 innings with Iowa.
Henderson joined the Milwaukee Brewers system in 2009. He split the year between the Brevard County Manatees (3-0, 4 Sv, 2.76, .160 average in 15 games), Huntsville Stars (1-0, 2.57 in 3 games) and Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (17 Sv, 1.07, .207 average in 26 outings). He then joined Team Canada for the 2009 Baseball World Cup.
On July 26, 2012, Henderson reached the major league in his 10th professional season. That made him the last player drafted by the late Montreal Expos to make his major league debut. That day, he pitched a scoreless inning in relief against the Washington Nationals, the current incarnation of the team that had drafted him all those years ago. The Brewers were already trailing 7-0 when he relieved Yovani Gallardo to start the 6th. He struck out the first batter he faced, Roger Bernadina, then retired Jesus Flores on a ground ball and Edwin Jackson flew out to center for a perfect inning. He was then replaced by Tyler Thornburg in a double switch at the start of the 7th inning. He pitched well in his first taste of the majors, going only 1-3, but with a decent 3.52 ERA and 3 saves in 36 games. His most impressive stat, however, was that he struck out a whopping 45 batters in 30 2/3 innings (13.2 batters per 9 innings), while giving up only 26 hits.
Henderson pitched for Team Canada in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but contributed to an awful team pitching performance with a couple of poor outings in relief (5 H, 5 R in 1 IP, taking the loss against Team USA after blowing a lead). Only R.J. Swindle fared worse on the porous Canadian staff. However, once the 2013 season started, he was excellent. He was credited with the Brewers' 5-4 Opening Day win over the Colorado Rockies in extra innings on April 1st, then, after closer and fellow Canadian team member John Axford struggled in his first few outings, took over for him as the team's closer. He was outstanding in his first few opportunities. In seven appearances between April 8-23, he went 1-0 with 5 saves, giving up only 4 hits and 1 run in 7 innings while striking out 10. That coincided with a torrid streak by Milwaukee, which had a 9-game winning streak at that point. On May 25th, he was forced to the disabled list with a strained hamstring; he had been perfect in 9 save opportunities up to that point, and his ERA was a sparkling 0.82. He was able to claim back the closer's job when he returned and finished the year with 28 saves, to go along with a record of 5-5, 2.70 in 61 games.
After his breakout season, Henderson hit a career bump, as he was limited to 14 games in 2014. He had health issues and never was able to find his groove, going 2-1 with a 7.15 ERA. He then underwent surgery on his shoulder, missed all of 2015, and resurfaced in 2016 as a minor league free agent invited to spring training by the New York Mets. However, he showed that he could still throw in the mid 90's and was able to make the opening day roster. He pitched 44 times for the Mets, going 2-2, 4.11 in 35 innings. He again struck out more than a batter per innig, with 40, as he achieved this marker in all four of his major league seasons.
Henderson began his coaching career as a player/coach with the 2018 Biloxi Shuckers though he never appeared in a game. He was the pitching coach for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2019. Henderson was scheduled to coach the San Antonio Missions in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19.
- Anthony DiComo: "Henderson thrilled to have made Mets: Reliever overcame two shoulder surgeries, joins New York's bullpen", mlb.com, April 1, 2016.