Seeing the Chicago White Sox land Liam Hendriks was amazing. They really did add one of the premier relief pitchers to their bullpen and saw results right away. Now, a year into his lucrative contract, you can claim that he is worth every penny because he is the best closer in the American League.
Hendriks went on the “Crosstown Crosstalk” podcast earlier this week and discussed certain things about his career. One notable thing that he talked about was the fact that he loved playing for Tony La Russa. He claims that the hiring of La Russa was a big reason that he chose the White Sox in free agency when a few different teams wanted him to take their money.
Hearing that is a very positive sign for anyone who doubts Tony’s impact on this team. In his first year with the team, he recruited an elite closer that helped them win a lot of games. Outside of having Hendriks run the bases in extra innings (which Hendriks also joked about on the podcast), La Russa really knew how to use him too.
Having Liam at the back of the bullpen gives the White Sox a distinct advantage over the opposition in any game that they have a lead late. When he is handed the ball in that situation, the White Sox are almost always going to win the game.
Liam Hendriks was absolutely brilliant for the Chicago White Sox in 2021.
He led the American League with 38 saves which is a great accomplishment. That shows that he was brilliant, the White Sox were great, and Tony La Russa knew how to use him. It was a fantastic year for him as he had a 2.54 ERA, 0.732 WHIP, 113 strikeouts, and only seven walks which all earned him the Reliever of the Year Award.
Hendriks also became the first Australian player to ever make an MLB all-star game twice. He earned the save in that game after having an outstanding inning. All of that came as a representative of the Chicago White Sox and Tony La Russa deserves a lot of credit for it because, without him, Liam might have chosen another team.