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

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 were hoping 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 trade deadline “F” for doing nothing on deadline day Tuesday after landing Hendriks’ former Athletics teammate Diekman Monday.

“Would I have I 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.”

The Sox are 2-1 since the trade deadline heading into Friday’s game against the Rangers. They beat the Royals twice home, then lost to the Rangers Thursday.

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 is batting .190/.286/.232 with an OPS of .519. Of his 40 hits in 60 games, Grandal has 35 singles, three doubles and two homers. He has scored only six runs and driven in 19.

Grandal entered Friday on an 0-for-22 streak. Manager Tony La Russa batted him eighth Thursday, then seventh as the DH 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 straight games (6-for-14 with a double) when he went on the IL.

“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. He puts a lot of time in. Probably him trying to hurry the process, it may be something where he needs to just understand that the timing is going to come.”

Source : https://chicago.suntimes.com/white-sox/2022/8/5/23293832/hendriks-hopes-disappointing-inactivity-on-deadline-day-lights-fire-under-white-sox

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