Sunday, July 3, 2022

Liam Hendriks injury: White Sox closer hits injured list with right forearm strain

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The White Sox have already endured their fair share of bad news in the 2022 season. They got more on Tuesday. All-Star closer Liam Hendriks has been placed on the injured list due to a right forearm strain. Fellow right-handed reliever Joe Kelly returns to the active roster as a corresponding move, but this is still bad news overall. 

Hendriks, 33, has been one of baseball’s best closers the last four seasons. After leading the AL in saves last year with 38, he’s again leading with 16 saves in 19 chances here in 2022. He has a 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 37 strikeouts in 25 2/3 innings.

Liam Hendriks

RP •

ERA2.81

K/913

WHIP1.13

S16

BS3

Perhaps most concerning here is the possibility of a more long-term injury. Forearm injuries sometimes are a precursor to elbow issues and that’s a scary thought with a player of Hendriks’ caliber. 

The White Sox will have to do some furniture re-arranging in the bullpen without Hendriks, at least in the short term. Kendall Graveman is having a quality season and was a closer for the Mariners before being traded last July, so he’s the obvious ninth-inning answer. The problem is this moves everyone else around. Kelly then joins Matt Foster and Kyle Crick as the other late-inning options in a bullpen that has ranked 24th in ERA this season. 

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Injuries have been an issue for every aspect of the White Sox this season. There’s been underperformance as well, and they entered Tuesday three games under .500 and six games out in the AL Central. They’ve lost four of their last six, though they did win Monday in Detroit and have two more against an inferior Tigers team. 

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