The Chicago White Sox continued their three-game series Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels on Roberto Clemente Day.
Here are three things we learned at Guaranteed Rate Field.
1. Liam Hendriks felt honored to wear No. 21.
Closer Liam Hendriks is the Sox’s nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award.
The honor, according to an MLB release, recognizes the player “who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field.”
Liam and Kristi Hendriks have been active with the South Slydah Society, which has donated nearly 1,000 meals to frontline workers throughout the area during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s definitely a huge honor knowing that what we’re doing in the community’s been taking notice of, but you don’t do the stuff in the community for an award like this,” Hendriks said Wednesday. “It’s always nice to be recognized. It’s something that my wife and I are both are passionate about is making sure we give back to the community, whatever community we’re in.
“And luckily the White Sox have been fantastic with helping us out with being able to feed the front lines and using not only local but also minority restaurants and businesses around the area.”
As part of this year’s Roberto Clemente Day, all award nominees were among those with the option of wearing No. 21 on their uniforms.
Usually No. 31, Hendriks wore a No. 21 jersey with no name on the back.
“I know Roberto Clemente Jr. a little bit from some of the stuff we worked with him in the past, and it’s such a good family, and if I can even just be a speck of sand on the Clemente legacy of what he was able to do for a long time, that’s a win in my books because he was — from what I understand, everything he did philanthropically was was unbelievable,” Hendriks said. “And I think he really was a trendsetter in that realm.”
Sox manager Tony La Russa sees Hendriks as “a great choice for the award.”
“One of the nice things about our game, and I think it’s happening in other sports too, a lot of the players are starting to get into giving back to the community, and that’s what Roberto was doing the day he died,” La Russa said. “Liam’s got a big heart that way. I mean this guy is very charitable (and) really wants to get involved.”
2. The postseason serves as a motivator for injured reliever Evan Marshall.
Marshall has been on the injured list since June 30 with a strained right flexor pronator. He’s doing all he can to get back and contribute this season.
“We’re down to a little over two weeks,” Marshall said Wednesday. “What’s the point of holding back? We’ve got the most important games of the year coming up after we take care of business the rest of the way.
“If this had happened at a different time of the year, if this was spring, I’d be erring on the side of caution. But there’s a long offseason coming after we all hopefully take that next step and win it all or go deep in the playoffs. So there’s no reason not to try and push my elbow to the limit.”
Marshall hit a small speed bump, experiencing “extra soreness” after pitching back-to-back days Sept. 3-4 during his rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte. A scan presented positive news.
“Things look OK but good enough where I can keep trying,” Marshall said. “And we sought second opinions to make sure there was no harm in trying. I got a shot in my elbow and we’re going to do everything that I can to try to help come October.”
Marshall, who was recently away for the birth of his son, will start a throwing program Thursday.
“Assuming I didn’t really lose anything during this sort of week that I haven’t thrown, we’ll ramp up pretty quickly the bullpens, long toss and then hopefully a live BP and then back by the end or back by the playoffs or if it’s Round 2 of the playoffs,” he said. “Whatever I can do to be around and help.”
3. Eloy Jiménez’s move to the 5th spot in the lineup sounds temporary.
Jiménez batted cleanup in each of his first 38 games this season since returning from a rupture of his left pectoral tendon.
La Russa moved him to fifth in the order Tuesday against the Angels, and he went 1-for-4. Jiménez was back in the No. 5 slot Wednesday. Jiménez was hitting .182 (10-for-55) in his last 15 games.
“He’s kind of in between, take a pitch and then chase a pitch,” La Russa said. “It happens to everybody, his timing’s a little off, his swing gets a little long. To expect him to not show the effects of all those at-bats he missed is unfair.
“Also you put him in the fourth spot, that’s my fault, that’s unfair. So now he’s in the fifth spot. He should hit fourth again before the season’s over.”