The bad luck just keeps piling up for the Chicago White Sox. They have been dealing with injuries to their lineup and pitching staff all season long, and another big name hit the injured list on Tuesday: closer Liam Hendriks.
Hendriks had not pitched since Friday due to what was initially described by manager Tony La Russa as “arm stiffness.” But the forearm strain diagnosis sounds much more ominous. There is currently no timetable for Hendriks’ return.
After some early-season struggles, the Aussie had really gotten into a groove of late, notching seven saves over 10 consecutive scoreless appearances since May 16 and lowering his ERA during that span from 4.70 to 2.81.
With Hendriks sidelined, Kendall Graveman appears to be the most obvious candidate for saves. He was outstanding in a similar role with the Mariners last season — 1.77 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 10 saves — prior to a trade to Houston last July.
Graveman hasn’t been quite as successful in his first year with Chicago, due in part to a significant drop in his strikeout rate (27.5 percent to 22.5 percent). But if your fantasy team is hurting for saves — whose isn’t? — the right-hander is currently available in more than 90 percent of ESPN leagues.