Liam Hendriks takes a ‘step in the right direction’ as the Chicago White Sox closer throws another live batting practice
Liam Hendriks took another step toward returning to the Chicago White Sox with his third live batting practice in a week.
The Sox closer threw about 19 pitches while facing teammates Elvis Andrus, Adam Haseley and Seby Zavala before Friday’s game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park.
“It went well,” manager Pedro Grifol said. “His numbers were really good.”
Hendriks built on previous sessions May 19 at Guaranteed Rate Field and Monday in Cleveland. He’s working his way back after undergoing treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“He ticked up from Cleveland,” Grifol said. “Really good step in the right direction. We’ll sit down and evaluate it as an organization and see what our next step is.”
The Sox also are getting positive reports from Eloy Jiménez’s rehab stint with Double-A Birmingham. The outfielder/designated hitter went 0-for-5 with a walk in his first two games for the Barons against the Tennessee Smokies.
“I don’t really care too much about what he’s doing offensively,” Grifol said. “All I care about is when he got through the game, how did he feel. He felt great and that’s all that matters to me.
“As long as he’s seeing pitches, going through the things he needs to go through, if he’s healthy at the end of the day, it’s a good day for Eloy.”
Jiménez — on the injured list after undergoing an appendectomy May 6 — was pinch-hit for in the ninth inning Thursday. Grifol said that was part of the schedule.
“He was going to play seven innings and that was it,” Grifol said.
Grifol said “there’s a possibility” Jiménez will be back with the Sox when they begin a six-game homestand Monday against the Los Angeles Angels.
Here are a couple other notes from Comerica Park.
Jimmy Lambert has ‘pretty cool’ experience
The Sox were holding off until after Friday’s game to determine Saturday’s starting pitcher. They will be filling Mike Clevinger’s spot for the second time while the right-hander is on the IL with right wrist inflammation.
Reliever Jimmy Lambert served as the opener Monday against the Guardians. He pitched a scoreless inning before giving way to Jesse Scholtens, who allowed one run on two hits in five solid innings.
Lambert returned to the mound for Wednesday’s series finale in Cleveland, pitching a perfect ninth with two strikeouts. He said he didn’t realize at the time he had thrown his team’s first and last pitches of the series.
“As far as opening the game, I used to be a starter and I love starting. That was fun to do that again,” Lambert told the Tribune on Thursday. “I knew I was only going to go one inning, but the leadup and throwing the first inning was cool.
“(And) we had a good lead (6-0) on Wednesday and they called me. I didn’t even think about it. I saw some people say I threw the first and last innings of the series. I guess that’s pretty cool.”
Lambert, who made two starts last season, said he went through a normal starter’s preparation Monday.
“It was good to get back in that routine,” he said.
Jake Burger on the go
Infielder Jake Burger singled in the third inning Thursday to snap an 0-for-15 streak.
Later in the inning he swiped second for the first stolen base of his career.
“I was texting my buddies about it (after the game and) they were like, ‘It had to be a back-side, first-and-second steal,’” Burger said Friday. “I was like, ‘No, it was straight.’”
Burger sent them video proof.
“Jake can run,” Grifol said. “I’ve seen players like that over and over, when they get to first base, you don’t pay attention and he picks the right pitch to run on and he’s standing on second base and in scoring position.”
Burger scored on Tim Anderson’s single, the team’s first run in a 7-2 loss. He’s 1-for-2 in stolen-base attempts this season and is prepared for more if the opportunity comes.
“I know it helps the team getting a runner on second base,” Burger said. “You can score on a single. Any way I can help the team win, that’s huge for me, and I’m glad they’re giving me the green light occasionally.”