Trio of White Sox arms heading to ASG

July 4th, 2021

DETROIT -- Stellar pitching has been the backbone of the White Sox ascent to the top of the 2021 American League Central standings. So, it’s no surprise all three of the team’s All-Star representatives come from the mound.

Starters and and closer were selected to compete in the 2021 All-Star Game at Colorado's Coors Field. Hendriks and Lynn will make their second All-Star appearance; Rodón will be taking part in his first.

“That’s always cool,” Hendriks said of the three White Sox teammates getting chosen together. “Obviously, Lance and Carlos deserve this. They’ve had outstanding years, and I happen to be riding their coattails a little bit.”

“When you have multiple guys from one team go to an All-Star Game, I think that shows what kind of team we have,” Rodón said. “I’m not the only one. Hopefully, we have a few of us that represent our team. It would be an honor.”

Lynn, 34, is scheduled to start Wednesday afternoon against the Twins, when he will try to improve on an 8-3 record with a 2.02 ERA over 15 starts. The big right-hander has 99 strikeouts and 28 walks over 84 2/3 innings, with a 1.03 WHIP and a .190 batting average against.

Rodón enters what should be his final first-half start on Tuesday at Target Field with a 6-3 record, a 2.37 ERA and 122 strikeouts over 83 2/3 innings. The southpaw has walked just 26 and yielded 53 hits, with a 0.94 WHIP and a .177 average against.

After Rodón battled through myriad injuries, including left shoulder surgery and Tommy John surgery, the No. 3 pick in the 2014 MLB Draft is pitching like a top-of-the rotation hurler.

“[Rodón] had a lot of expectations on him, and I’m happy he’s living up to these expectations,” Hendriks said. “He’s been nothing short of outstanding.”

“The game has been good to me this year,” Rodón said. “But honestly, there’s 17 more starts to make, or whatever it is. That’s what I’m focused on right now.”

Rodón and Lynn could make good cases to be the AL All-Star Game starting pitcher. Neither will be working this weekend in Baltimore, with Rodón entering Sunday ranked third in the AL in ERA, fourth in strikeouts, third in WHIP and second in average against. Lynn was second to the Rangers' Kyle Gibson in ERA, third in average against and fourth in WHIP.

Hendriks, meanwhile, takes pride in not only his second All-Star nod but also becoming the first Australian native to be a two-time All-Star. David Nilsson (Brewers, 1999) and Grant Balfour (A's, 2013) were both selected once.

“Stuff like this is what makes it pop a little bit more in Australia, and is going to be fantastic for baseball in Australia,” said Hendriks, who has 21 saves, a 2.57 ERA and 53 strikeouts with four walks over 35 innings. “Hopefully this can increase the awareness of baseball in Australia and get some more kids over here.

“We’ve got another kid who just made his debut with Baltimore in Alex Wells. The more guys we get in the big leagues, the bigger the game is going to get back home.”

Four other White Sox had the credentials to be considered for the AL team, with Tony La Russa’s crew holding the third-best record in the AL and a six-game division lead over the Indians. Despite hitting .190, catcher ranks second in the Majors with 59 walks against just 62 strikeouts, and he has 14 home runs, 38 RBIs and an .830 OPS.

Grandal’s 42 runs scored sit second on the White Sox behind Tim Anderson’s 48. Anderson, first baseman José Abreu (61 RBIs) and third baseman Yoán Moncada also have produced a strong first half.

But that quartet will get a break while the trio of White Sox hurlers heads West.

“I don’t really like breaks. I tend to feel worse after off-days,” Hendriks said. “I actually don’t mind this ... now that the pressure is off the All-Star Game. It’s not as if it’s a 'winner takes the World Series [home-field advantage]' stuff.

“You are allowed to enjoy it a little bit more. You are allowed to go out there and have some fun. It doesn’t have to be strictly performance, performance, performance. You can joke around with guys from the other team. Hopefully, I can get an inning in there.”

Sunday marked just the third time in franchise history that three White Sox pitchers have been chosen for the same All-Star Game. That list includes Bobby Jenks, Mark Buehrle and José Contreras in 2006, and Virgil Trucks, Bob Keegan and Sandy Consuegra in 1954.