Chicago White Sox closer Liam Hendriks is dealing with a kidney stone or two, manager Tony La Russa said on Wednesday.
Hendriks, who signed a four-year, $54 million deal this offseason to join Chicago, still may be able to recover in time to pitch Opening Day.
“I think there’s a good chance that he can pitch this weekend,” La Russa noted. “If that’s the case and he can make a couple, three appearances — he’s in good shape, he’s experienced — without a setback, I think he’ll be ready.”
If Hendriks is forced to miss some games, the White Sox will turn to their loaded pen that includes left-handers Aaron Bummer and Garrett Crochet and right-handers Evan Marshall, Codi Heuer, Matt Foster.
La Russa feels confident in his bullpen regardless of Hendriks’ Opening Day status.
“Normally, you don’t have a handful of guys who can do it,” La Russa said. “If you’re lucky, you have, maybe, a second guy. But here, (if) it’s a one-run lead in the ninth and the only guy available is Crochet, he pitches it and we think he’ll get three outs. Same thing with Heuer, with Bummer, with Liam. And I wouldn’t put anything past Foster or Marshall. The depth in our ‘pen is exciting.”
Hendriks hasn’t pitched in a week but threw a bullpen session Wednesday.
The right-hander was an All-Star in 2019 when he saved 25 games for the Oakland Athletics. He followed that up with 14 saves in the shortened 2020 season.
–Field Level Media