TCD Interview: Liam Hendriks

Hendriks has worked a slider into his arsenal.

Liam Hendriks made his professional debut in the Twins organization during the 2007 season, and the young Aussie right-hander did not dissapoint. Last week, he sat down with TCD for an exclusive interview.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: First off, thanks for taking the time to talk with us. Our fans are very into the entire Minor League system of the Minnesota Twins, and you had an incredible first season with the organization. How have you handled the jump to professional baseball?
Liam Hendriks: It was great. I mean I knew it was going to be hard work, but I enjoyed the challenge, and it helped. I had another couple of Aussies with me. It was tough at first, as I was sitting on the side not allowed to train for three days, as I needed to get my knee checked out. I have had two knee operations on my left knee both small cartilage arthroscopies.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: Do you feel your experience playing in Perth has helped you in your development as a pitcher?
Liam Hendriks: Most definitely. I was meant to throw in the Claxton Shield, which is the highest level of competition in Australia. It's a state carnival for seniors. I played in all the warm up games but then come time for competition, i had done my knee at the under 18 national carnival.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: What would you consider your out-pitch?
Liam Hendriks: While I was away, it was my curveball, but I used my fastball almost exclusively at times. But since I have been back at home I've worked on a slider, which now I consider to be my main off-speed pitch.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: Elizabethton has a history of being a dominant team in the Appalachian League. Are you excited to possibly be playing there in 2008?
Liam Hendriks: I can't wait to hopefully play there. I hear the crowd and town are fantastic, and of course the challenge of trying to uphold the good name of the Elizabethton Twins.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: Have there been any pitchers who have taken you under their wing?
Liam Hendriks: Not really, as I was only there for Extended Spring Training this year. A lot of the guys were only a couple of years older than me, and many coming down for their first time as well, so at least I wasn't on my own which was helpful.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: What kind of goals have you set for yourself for the 2008 season?
Liam Hendriks: My aim is to have more strikeouts then innings, and no major blowout games like I had in my last outing of the 2007 season which was a disaster. But you live and learn.

TwinCitiesDugout.com: Are you happy that you are a member of possibly the best pitching farm system in baseball?
Liam Hendriks: I'm ecstatic. It's fantastic to be hearing of pitchers go through the ranks in the Twins organization and make it up to the Major Leagues. I just hope I can follow in some of the greats footsteps.

TwinCitiesDugout.com would like to thank Liam for taking time out of his busy schedule to speak with us. After a stellar season in 2007, the Twins have high hopes he can continue to progress in 2008.

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