White Sox off-day thoughts on Hendriks, Montgomery, Sosa and more

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • There is a chance injured relief pitcher Liam Hendriks is going to be back with the White Sox early next week. Needless to say, the return of the all-star closer would give the banged-up Sox a major boost.

    There is a chance injured relief pitcher Liam Hendriks is going to be back with the White Sox early next week. Needless to say, the return of the all-star closer would give the banged-up Sox a major boost. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 6/30/2022 5:45 PM

Random White Sox thoughts on Thursday's off day:

•The Sox are keeping their fingers crossed when it comes to closer Liam Hendriks.

 

Out since June 11 with a right forearm strain, the initial fear was season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Hendriks has been throwing and making good progress, and he's scheduled to pitch a simulated game Friday before the Sox open a three-game interleague series at San Francisco.

If all goes well, one of baseball's best closers could be back in the bullpen on July 4 when the White Sox begin a big series against the first-place Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field.

For a team that's been ravaged by injuries, getting Hendriks back would go a long ways toward restoring needed good health.

It would also bolster a Sox bullpen that's been getting burned by relievers being asked to pitch in roles they're not equipped for.

•In the last 20 years of the draft, Colson Montgomery was only the second high school player selected by the White Sox on the first round.

Courtney Hawkins was the other one, in 2012, and health issues prevented the outfielder from advancing beyond Class AA Birmingham.

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Montgomery is still at high A Winston-Salem, but the 20-year-old shortstop is already making very quick strides through the system.

Starting the season with low A Kannapolis, Montgomery hit .324/.424/.477 with 4 home runs and 26 RBI in 45 games.

Promoted to Winston-Salem last week, the 6-foot-4, 205-pounder is still producing big numbers and his home run Wednesday night extended his streak of reaching base safely to a staggering 37 games.

•Lenyn Sosa got the bum's rush from the Sox Tuesday, being demoted to Class AAA Charlotte after playing only four games.

Yoan Moncada was activated off the injured and somebody had to go, so Sosa drew the short straw.

Even though he was 1-for-12, Sosa has a power bat and he can definitely play quality defense at second base.

Josh Harrison and Leury Garcia are the two current options at second, but Sosa is going to get a much longer look the next time he arrives. The obvious question -- is that next year or later this season?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

•Hendriks is hopefully rejoining the White Sox next week, closely followed by injured left fielder Eloy Jimenez.

If catcher Yasmani Grandal (back) can return before the all-star break, the Sox will be as healthy as they've been all season.

And if they're still floundering in early August, the heat is going up to full blast on manager Tony La Russa. It's also not completely out of the question general manager Rick Hahn thinks about selling instead of buying at the trade deadline.

•What a strange season for Jose Abreu.

Known for driving in runs and hitting homers during his first eight seasons with the Sox, Abreu isn't doing much of either so far this year.

The 35-year-old first baseman is hitting a solid .353 (54-for-153) over his last 30 games, but he's been limited to 6 home runs and 23 RBI over that stretch.

The White Sox and Tigers are the only two major-league teams that don't have a hitter with 10 or more homers.

Abreu leads the Sox with 9, and his 35 RBI ranked 67th in the major leagues through Wednesday's play.

The 2020 MVP lead the American League in RBI in 2020-21 and Abreu was second last season.

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