While the White Sox may be sitting below .500 at 2-3, an important win for the team came Wednesday morning, as closer Liam Hendriks celebrated being cancer-free after a five-month battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma.
Hendriks, 34, began treatment on January 9th, 2023, with no set timetable of return. While there is still uncertainty as to when he will be on the mound again, the news stirs a great deal of optimism that he will be back sooner rather than later and not a second too soon for the White Sox.
In one save situation on the season, the White Sox allowed a run (9.00 ERA) and a walk and brought the game-tying batter up to the plate. They also faced the game-tying batter after being up five runs in the bottom of the 9th in their only other win on the season. The only other 9th-inning pitching appearance came in a 12-3 loss to the Giants, in which the Giants had 5 hits (2 HR), 5 R, and 3 walks across two pitchers in the ninth.
Needless to say, adding a bullpen arm, and one proven to hold down the 9th inning (114 saves in the last four years, including the shortened 2020 season), couldn’t come any sooner for the White Sox. There is still a road of recovery in front of Hendriks before he will be pitching again, but finishing chemotherapy and being cancer-free is cause for celebration, regardless of when Hendriks is in uniform again or what happens in the next 157 games. Congratulations to Liam and his supporters!