Henderson Named Brew Crew Bullpen Coach

He’s gone from big Dawg to bullpen boss with the Brew Crew.

Jim Henderson has been promoted to the role of bullpen coach with the Milwaukee Brewers.

The former big-league closer was a two-way star with the Calgary Dawgs of the Western Major Baseball League (WMBL) in 2003 before he was drafted by the Montreal Expos that year.

From there, Henderson began his minor-league journey to Major League Baseball (MLB), the Dawgs moved to Okotoks where they found success in front of adoring crowds at Seaman Stadium, and – more recently – the WMBL was renamed the Western Canadian Baseball League (WCBL).

The lanky Calgarian pitched professionally for 14 years, including parts of three different seasons with the Brewers and one campaign with the New York Mets in 2016. His MLB totals include a 10-11 record, 31 saves, 177 strikeouts and a 3.68 earned run average through 137 innings and 155 games.

His coaching travels also involved several stops in the minors, but Henderson’s ascent as a skipper has proven much more rapid this time around. After joining Milwaukee’s organization as an assistant to the professional scouting department and a bullpen coach with the rookie-level Helena Brewers in 2018, he took on the role of pitching coach for the Single-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers the following season. Henderson spent the last two years serving as a pitching coach in Triple-A.

The 39-year-old is taking over from Steve Karsay, a former first-round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, who is stepping down to spend more time with his family.

Henderson earned the promotion alongside Matt Erickson, who was named the infield and assistant hitting coach in the Brewers’ press release about staffing changes.

“(Jim) knows the game inside and out and he’s able to communicate that. Right now in the game, there’s a ton of information and analytics is a hot topic and it’s not going away. It’s great. The more information you can provide, the better,” Erickson told beat writer Adam McCalvy in a story for MLB.com.

Erickson was an assistant coach with Wisconsin when Henderson was the team’s closer in 2009, and the two worked together again for the Timber Rattlers ten years later when Henderson was the pitching coach and Erickson was the manager.

“What Jim does a great job with is he has tremendous feel for what is happening on the field or in the bullpen, and now he knows the analytics as well,” added Erickson.

Henderson, who also played for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic in 2013 and 2017, was excited to be getting the call to the majors with Erickson, who he called an excellent communicator.

In addition to playing for the original Dawgs team, which inspired the Core 4 (+14) Corner addition at Seaman Stadium, Henderson has returned to Okotoks as a guest coach at Dawgs Academy, and he was an interim coach with the summer collegiate Dawgs in 2017.