Hendriks hopes ‘disappointing’ inactivity on deadline day ‘lights fire’ under White Sox

“Would I have I liked to see a little bit more? Sure,” Hendriks said. “But this is a [contention] window that’s not open just this year.”

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Liam Hendriks exults.

Liam Hendriks of the White Sox reacts after the final of a 4-1 win over the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 03, 2022. (Getty Images).


ARLINGTON, Texas — White Sox closer Liam Hendriks likes the addition of veteran left-hander Jake Diekman.

“Not only a lefty, but a lefty with some of the best stuff and highest ceilings in the league,” Hendriks said Friday. “It’s hard to get those pieces.”

But Hendriks and others in the Sox’ clubhouse had hoped general manager Rick Hahn would add more to the roster for the August and September postseason push than acquire Diekman in a trade with the Red Sox for Reese McGuire.

“We saw what Rick said, and it was disappointing we weren’t able to add more, and that was something we thought in here, as well,” Hendriks told the Sun-Times. “But in saying that, we’re not exactly in the most enviable position with our [lowly ranked] farm system and what we can give up. If gaining something takes something away from this team, then standing pat wasn’t the worst thing in the world.”

It was close to it as far as fans and national commentators who grade such things were concerned. The Sox received at least one “F” for doing nothing on deadline day Tuesday after landing Hendriks’ former Athletics teammate Diekman on Monday.

“Would I have liked to see a little bit more? Sure. But this is a [contention] window that’s not open just this year,” Hendriks said. “We don’t want to take away from this year or the next year or year after that.”

Hendriks hopes the front office not adding “lights a fire under out [butts].”

“Either we take the mentality of they believe in the guys we have in here or we take it like, ‘Hey, they don’t think we can do it. Watch us.’ Whatever way gets you motivated is the biggest thing.”

Grandal’s struggle

Much was made when the so-called lineup core of Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Jose Abreu, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Yasmani Grandal were together for the first time this season Thursday. That lineup produced five hits, and the Sox lost 3-2.

A glaring malfunction in that six-cylinder engine is Grandal, the switch-hitting catcher who needs to find his swing in the last two months to avoid having the worst season of his career. The Sox’ highest-paid player was batting .190/.286/.232 with an OPS of .519 going into the game Friday. Of his 40 hits in his first 60 games, Grandal had 35 singles, three doubles and two homers.

Grandal scored his sixth run (to go with 19 RBI) when he walked and scored on Seby Zavala’s sacrifice fly in the second. He broke an 0-for-22 streak with a double in the fifth. Manager Tony La Russa batted him eighth Thursday, then seventh as the DH on Friday.

“Rust. Big timing thing,” La Russa said. “He’s putting a lot on himself to get back.”

Grandal was out from June 12 to July 22 with low back problems. He had hit in four consecutive games (6-for-14 with a double) when he went on the injured list.

“He needs to relax a little bit, not try to force it,” La Russa said. “He’s worked, man, in the cage when you don’t see it.

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