White Sox closer Liam Hendriks is expected to be back in the bullpen soon.
The three-time all-star has not pitched in 2023 after he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in January 2023. He was declared cancer-free in April, and is now expected to be ready to go this week.
Hendriks has been dynamic on the South Side in 2021. He has made 75 saves in a White Sox uniform and finished eighth in Cy Young voting in 2021.
Despite an overall solid season in 2022, he dealt with some struggles towards the end of the year and acknowledged that he may have pitched with the cancer being active.
The addition of Hendriks into the mix comes as much more than a typical feel-good story for Chicago. They sit in fourth place in the dismal AL Central with a 22-33 record and are six-games behind the division leading Minnesota Twins.
Pitching has been a struggle for the White Sox this season, as the staff possesses a 4.83 ERA, a mark that is fifth-worst in MLB. Opposing hitters are hitting a collective .247 against the unit and they have surrendered 75 home runs, tied for second-worst in MLB.
Kendall Graveman and Reynaldo Lopez have four saves apiece so far, but putting Hendriks in the fold will allow the other two to thrive in set-up roles. Hendriks has made rehab appearances since early-May.