Hensley with the San Diego Padres
August 31, 1979 |
|July 20, 2005, for the San Diego Padres|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 3, 2012, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Earned run average||4.00|
Clayton Allen Hensley (born August 31, 1979) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. Hensley has played in Major League Baseball for the San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins, and San Francisco Giants.
Hensley was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 8th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. On May 3, 2003, he pitched a perfect game for the South Atlantic League Hagerstown Suns. On July 13, 2003, he was traded to the San Diego Padres for Matt Herges.
On April 5, 2005, he was suspended 15 games for testing positive for steroids while pitching in the minor leagues. Later that season, he was called up from the Triple-A Portland Beavers. He emerged as a vital figure in middle relief, not allowing a home run in 47.2 innings.
Hensley began the 2007 season as the Padres' #5 starter, but was placed on the disabled list in May. After struggling in his minor league rehab starts, Hensley was optioned to the Triple-A Portland Beavers.
Hensley was signed by the Houston Astros on December 23, 2008, to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training worth $550,000. In May 2009, Hensley was released by the Astros and signed by the Florida Marlins.
In 2010, Hensley took over the closer role from Leo Núñez. For the start 2011 season, Hensley was once again being used as a setup man. However, after injury problems to both himself and Marlins ace Josh Johnson, the Marlins promoted him to the starting rotation.
Hensley retired from professional baseball on April 27, 2014.
Although Hensley lacked premium speed on his pitches, he used his upper-80s sinker to induce weak contact. To right-handed hitters, Hensley added a slider averaging about 80 mph and a big curveball averaging about 70 mph to the mix. To lefties, Hensley used the curveball and a changeup in the low 80s. He also occasionally threw a four-seam fastball. He delivered his pitches with a nearly straight-overhead throwing motion.
Hensley lives in San Diego during the off-season with his wife Danielle and their two children.
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