Brewers Monday: RP Henderson suffers setback

MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee Brewers reliever Jim Henderson has been taken off of his rehab assignment after suffering a setback in his outing for Double-A Huntsville on Friday.

Henderson worked a perfect sixth inning with two strikeouts against Montgomery, needing just 11 pitches to get through his first rehab outing. The right-hander felt pain in the back of his right shoulder and was scratched from his scheduled outing Sunday.

He was back in Milwaukee on Monday and will see the doctor to decide what his next step should be.

"To go back out there again and feel pain in the game was very frustrating," Henderson said. "I was looking forward to those three outings in Huntsville and kind of building back up and coming back here."

On the disabled list since May 2, Henderson threw his first bullpen session on May 18 in Chicago. He threw another Tuesday in Atlanta and felt no pain, leading to the Brewers feeling comfortable sending their former closer out on a rehab assignment.

Henderson said the second bullpen session was intense, leaving him surprised the shoulder pain popped up in the game.

"It’s hard for me," Henderson said. "I’m kind of lost with it myself until we have an answer to it and see what’s going on. But mostly just frustrating. Since I had shoulder surgery in 2008 my shoulder’s been pretty durable, and I feel like I’ve been staying on top of it and been good with it. So for this to happen six years later, it’s a little frustrating. But I’ve still got my head up and hopefully I’ll be back here this season at some point."

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Slated to be Milwaukee’s closer, Henderson struggled to find his command in spring training and watched as Francisco Rodriguez grabbed the ninth-inning role and ran with it. Henderson had a 3.38 ERA through his first 13 outings of 2014 but his ERA ballooned to 7.15 after he allowed five earned runs in 2/3 of an inning on May 1 in Cincinnati.

He went on the disabled list the following day and has been out ever since.

"We were hoping it would be perfect," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Henderson’s outing Friday. "He felt a little irritation in one of his pitches. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know if that means we kind of have to baby him through it again.

"I don’t think it’s a huge setback, but we were really hoping clean. To be honest with you, we talked about two or three outings and he’d be back with us."

Henderson, who was limited to just eight games in 2008 due to a right shoulder strain, wants to make sure the issues are completely out of his shoulder before he returns to a big-league mound.

"I wouldn’t have taken the mound the other day in Montgomery if I didn’t feel like it was strong and I could come back," Henderson said. "I know when the shoulder’s right — throughout my minor-league career and in the big leagues — when I’m healthy and feeling right that I’m confident and successful that I can pitch here and get the job done. I just want to get back to that point."

Ramirez progressing: Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez is coming along well from his left hamstring strain and could return to Milwaukee’s lineup later this homestand.

Out since May 11, Ramirez has been throwing and taking full swings in the cage. Roenicke said the third baseman ran at 60 to 70 percent in Miami and is expected to ramp that up in the coming days.

"He’s coming along really well," Roenicke said. "Probably a little bit faster than we thought. When we get near the end of this homestand and we’ll start figuring out where he is. Everything he’s doing so far, he feels really good."

Roenicke is trying to convince Ramirez to go out on a short minor-league rehab assignment, something the veteran is opposed to doing. Following an eight-game homestand, the Brewers play two games in Minnesota where Ramirez could serve as the designated hitter.

"These guys don’t like to do it," Roenicke said of going on a minor-league rehab assignment. "If you are out a month or two months it is a different story. They feel like they can step in there and do the job. Sometimes they do, most of the time they don’t."

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