Chicago White Sox 2021 Season Preview: Liam Hendriks

Vincent Parise
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 04: Liam Hendriks #31 of the Chicago White Sox pitches during a workout on March 4, 2021 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - MARCH 04: Liam Hendriks #31 of the Chicago White Sox pitches during a workout on March 4, 2021 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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We have been hearing a lot about how awesome the Chicago White Sox bullpen is going to be in 2021. They were really a good bullpen last season with Alex Colome as their closer and he is a very good player. They lost him in free agency to the Minnesota Twins but not before signing Liam Hendriks to be the new guy. As good as Colome was for them, Hendriks is even better. He is considered to be the best relief pitcher in all of baseball.

The Chicago White Sox needs Liam Hendriks to dominate for them in 2021.

Hendriks played the last five seasons with the Oakland Athletics. For the two most recent, he was probably the best closer in all of baseball. He had an ERA under two in both seasons. In 2020, he was so good that he came in ninth place for the American League Cy Young Award as a closer. He had a 3-1 record, 1.78 ERA, 0.681 WHIP, and 37 strikeouts over 25.1 innings pitched.

Those are some incredible numbers. All of it accumulated his WAR up to 1.4 which is outstanding for a guy who pitched about an inning every time he went out there. The White Sox truly needs more of that from him as he comes over to this team. When he was with the A’s, they believed that if he came into the ballgame with a lead the game was over. Most of the time, it was.

If the White Sox are able to get that type of effort from him in 2021, it will be one of the best bullpens the team has ever had. We know that Aaron Bummer will be his primary setup man but there are other options as well.

There are so many good arms that will lead into Hendriks so he will be in a good spot more often than not. The White Sox also has a prolific offense so he should be used with a lead most of the time.

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2021 Expectations:

We can expect Liam Hendriks to be one of the three or four best closers in all of baseball. The hype surrounding him has him as the best in the league but there are so many good closers going right now. As long as he is “one of the best”, the White Sox will be in good shape. Keeping his ERA below two might be hard to do but it would be the third year in a row that he does it.

As long as his WHIP is down as well, he should be able to use his stuff to get hitters out late in games. He is the type of pitcher who is obsessed with throwing well so he should fit right in with the White Sox because that is a group with a winning mentality. Hopefully, Hendriks does his job to the best of his ability and this team goes on a run as a result.

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