HOUSTON — While general manager Rick Hahn said that closer Liam Hendriks probably would be out three weeks with a flexor strain in his forearm, Hendriks is still targeting July 1, which would be a few days shy of that. Hendriks will play catch Monday for the first time since going on the 15-day injured list Tuesday, a first test after treatment the last several days that has alleviated some inflammation.
Hendriks said the elbow feels “a lot better now.”
“It’s been feeling great, but the biggest step is obviously throwing,” Hendriks said Sunday. “It doesn’t matter if it hurts doing nothing. As long as it’s fine throwing, I can deal with everything else.”
On the plus side, Hendriks might not have been needed since he went down. The White Sox won four of the first five games of their road trip, and those victories were by four runs or more.
Hendriks purchased a glove for a left-hander and is fiddling around with his left-handed mechanics just to give him something to do.
“You never know,” Hendriks said with a grin. “It worked for Billy Wagner.”
Yoan Moncada avoided the injured list for at least another day with a right hamstring issue but will be examined in Chicago on Monday, manager Tony La Russa said.
“We don’t want to put him away for 10 days if it’s going to heal sooner,” La Russa said.
“He’s got something there, but I’m always cautious about trying to explain it. There’s something there, but there [could be] enough of a possibility that it’s a lighter, minor situation that with a little bit of treatment and rest will heal.”
Moncada was hurt running out a ground ball Friday.
Haseley up, Foster on bereavement list
Right-hander Matt Foster was put on the bereavement list and replaced on the active roster by outfielder Adam Haseley, who was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and started in right field Sunday.
A left-handed hitter, Haseley had played in five games with the Sox, going 2-for-10. At Charlotte, the Phillies’ first-round draft choice in 2017 (eighth overall) has enjoyed an offensive resurgence, batting .280/.344/.482 with eight home runs in 51 games, including a .367/.422/.658 hitting line in his last 20.
“Anytime you get an opportunity like this, you obviously take advantage of it and give it everything you’ve got,” Haseley said.
Patience paying off for Abreu
Jose Abreu entered Sunday hitting .345/.463/.600 with six homers, 10 doubles and 20 RBI in his last 29 games, raising his average from .197 to .267. Abreu had walked 10 times in his previous nine games, a testament to an emphasis of balancing selectivity and aggressiveness in RBI situations.
“I’ve been learning,” Abreu said. “I’ve been making adjustments but trying to be more patient because I know that they’re trying to pitch me differently. It’s not easy when you’re an aggressive hitter, and you try to chase every pitch that you see. I’ve been trying to be more patient, trying to be more selective.”