The Chicago White Sox have been one of baseball’s biggest disappointments this season. That may change as they are set to get a needed boost in the bullpen and in the locker room.
That boost will come in the form of Liam Hendriks. He is set to be activated on Monday, taking the final step in his battle against cancer and subsequent rehab.
Liam Hendriks an inspiration to Chicago White Sox
The fact that Hendriks is even in this position at all is almost a miracle. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma in December, nearly six months after he discovered lumps in his neck. Immunotherapy and chemotherapy followed for months as Hendriks battled for his life, eventually being pronounced cancer free on April 20. His rehab stint officially began on May 5 in Charlotte, with Hendriks working his way back.
At first glance, the results are not promising. Hendriks has allowed six runs on seven hits, including three homers, and a walk over his five innings of work, striking out five batters. However, four of those runs came in his outing on May 11, the first time he had pitched in back to back games. It is difficult to fault him for that rough outing given the circumstances.
Maybe this will be what the White Sox need. Their relief corps has been one of the worst in baseball, their 5.28 ERA ranking 29th in the majors. The White Sox have struggled to find someone to handle the ninth inning all season. Hendriks would certainly help solidify the bullpen.
Likewise, his battle with cancer could help inspire the locker room. The White Sox have been lackluster at best this season, struggling in almost every facet of the game. His return could be that kick in the ass they need, especially considering that no one is running away with the division. Six games is not that hard to overcome at this point in the season.
Liam Hendriks has battled his way back to the majors. His return could be the boost the Chicago White Sox need.