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White Sox closer Liam Hendriks dealing with kidney stone

Manager Tony La Russa hopes to see the 2020 Reliever of the Year in a game this weekend.

White Sox closer Liam Hendriks has been dealing with a kidney stone. Manager Tony La Russa hopes he will be able to pitch this weekend.
White Sox closer Liam Hendriks has been dealing with a kidney stone. Manager Tony La Russa hopes he will be able to pitch this weekend.
John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times

GLENDALE, Ariz. — White Sox closer Liam Hendriks hasn’t pitched in a week while dealing with a kidney stone issue, but manager Tony La Russa said the hope is to get Hendriks in a Cactus League game in the upcoming final weekend of the spring and be ready by Opening Day on April 1.

“He’s having some pains, looks like a kidney stone, maybe a couple,” La Russa said. “They think it’s close to passing.”

Hendriks threw a bullpen Wednesday. His last appearance in a game was last Wednesday.

“I know from people who’ve had it it’s a very uncomfortable, painful thing to go through,” La Russa said. “It’s a good test of his toughness, but he’s passing it.”

La Russa said there is a good chance Hendriks pitches this weekend.

“If he can make a couple or three appearances ... he’s in good shape and he’s experienced,” La Russa said. “If that’s the case, without a setback he’ll be ready.”

Hendriks, the 2020 Reliever of the Year, was signed to a $54 million, four-year contract in the offseason, giving the Sox what shapes up as one of the best bullpens in baseball.

Jimenez leaves game with shoulder discomfort

Left fielder Eloy Jimenez left Wednesday’s game against the Athletics with left shoulder discomfort after attempting to make a leaping catch above the fence.

Jimenez, who remained down on the warning track for several moments after hanging over the fence with his left arm after the A’s catcher Sean Murphy homered against Lance Lynn, walked off with training staff, going straight to the trainer’s room.

Jimenez will be further evaluated Thursday.

Lynn saw Jimenez by the training room and said Jimenez seemed to be “in good spirits.” “They’re trying to see what’s going on, hopefully it’s nothing big and he can get back out there quick,” Lynn said.

A Silver Slugger winner last season, Jimenez collected his team-high 11th RBI of the spring with a single to right field in the first inning.

Jimenez has been hurt in the outfield before, colliding with Charlie Tilson in Kansas City in 2019 and injuring his elbow. Against the Twins last July at Guaranteed Rate Field, he banged his head backing into the wall and missed a couple days under concussion protocol.

The Sox lost outfielder Adam Engel for 2-4 weeks with a hamstring injury Saturday and won’t have him available for Opening Day on April 1. Leury Garcia, Billy Hamilton and Nick Williams represent the Sox’ depth behind Luis Robert, Adam Eaton, Jimenez and Engel.

A member of the White Sox training staff speaks with Eloy Jimenez.
A member of the White Sox training staff speaks with Eloy Jimenez.
NBC Sports Chicago

Sox to sign Cuban prospect Colas: report

The Sox agreed to a $2.7 signing bonus with top Cuban outfield/pitching prospect Oscar Colas, according to Cuban journalist Francys Romero. The deal can’t be signed until the international signing period begins in January. The Sox have been a leading candidate to sign Colas, 22, who has been called the “Cuban Ohtani.” Colas, who left Cuba in January, 2020, bats and throws left.

Pitching numbers

The projected starting rotation of Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, Lynn, Dylan Cease and Carlos Rodón has a combined 2.25 ERA with 61 strikeouts over 56 innings in 17 games (16 starts) this spring. Relievers Aaron Bummer, Garrett Crochet, Matt Foster Liam Hendriks, Codi Heuer, Michael Kopech and Evan Marshall have posted a combined 2.48 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 40 innings.

A’s 14, Sox 4

Lynn satisfied

Lance Lynn gave up three runs over five innings against the A’s. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four, hiking his spring total of Ks to 21 over 16 2/3 innings.

“A couple homers that are questionable Arizona spring training homers that kind of come with the territory right now,” Lynn said. “But all the stuff was there, I was able to get some quick outs and move the ball around on both sides of the plate and change speeds, and that’s what it’s all about.”

Lynn (3.24 ERA in Cactus League games) is lined up to pitch Tuesday, an off day before the spring finale, so he’ll likely get a simulated game on the backfields. He threw 74 pitches (52 strikes) and will throw 85-90 pitches Tuesday, he said.

10-run ruled

Sox pitchers allowed seven walks but none by hurlers who figure to make the team. On the sloppy side, Jose Abreu dropped a pretty throw from deep in the hole by shortstop Tim Anderson for an error, and shortstop Leury Garcia made a throwing error.

Anderson (.289) had two hits as his bat heats up in the days leading to the opener.

Roster decisions

Reynaldo Lopez getting shipped to the alternate site leaves a bullpen spot open, with Jose Ruiz perhaps the top contender.

“We’re following the age old where you don’t decide until you have to,” La Russa said. “I’ve seen enough times, sometimes in the last week of games somebody pops up, whether it’s a pitcher or player. So we’re keeping an open mind.”

General manager Rick Hahn is hosting a meeting of the minds including baseball operations people Thursday, La Russa said, as the 26-man roster countdown approaches a week before Opening Day.

On deck

Reds at Sox, 3:05 p.m., Thursday, Glendale, MLB.com, ESPN-1000, Jose De Leon vs. Dylan Cease.

—Daryl Van Schouwen