From Cancer Comeback to Curveball Surgery: Liam Hendriks’ Wild Pitch of a Year ๐ŸŽ—๏ธโšพ

TL:DR; After a heartwarming comeback from cancer, Liam Hendriks, White Sox’s star reliever, throws us a curveball as he dives into Tommy John surgery. What does this mean for his baseball future? And will White Sox be in the catcher’s mitt paying $15 million either way? ๐Ÿค‘๐Ÿ’ญ

Just when we thought Liam Hendriks’ journey couldn’t get any more roller-coastery, 2023 threw us a wicked slider. ๐ŸŽข We’ve been on the edge of our seats as he battled back from cancer, making it one of the goosebump moments of this season. But, oof, only five outings on that mound before a dodgy elbow sends him to the dugout.

How many of us have had those moments where it feels like lifeโ€™s just trying to see how much we can handle? ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ™‹โ€โ™‚๏ธ

On June 9, the world of baseball fans held their breaths as news of Hendriks’ elbow injury spread like wildfire. And now, he’s undergone that famous Tommy John surgery – you know, the one that’s practically a rite of passage for pitchers? It’s all about fixing that ulnar-collateral ligament. The catch? A rehab thatโ€™s 10-14 months long. Looking at the calendar, peeps, that probably means no Hendriks action for 2024 either. ๐Ÿ˜ฉ

The thing is, baseball isnโ€™t just a game of bats and balls โ€“ there’s some serious cash floating around! ๐Ÿค‘ Hendriks inked a three-year deal with the White Sox back in 2021. Now, there’s this spicy $15 million option for 2024. While most would say, “White Sox, just drop it”, there’s this other juicy tidbit: a $15 million buyout. Yep, whether they catch or drop, they’re shelling out that moolah. So, hereโ€™s a biggie: Will Hendriks become a free agent sooner or a tad bit later? ๐Ÿ’ผ

Let’s rewind a bit: In the five innings he played this season, Hendriks sported a 5.40 ERA. But dude, remember 2022? The guy was fire with a 2.81 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, and 85 strikeouts in 57 2/3 innings. ๐Ÿ”ฅ Out of 41 chances, he sealed the deal 37 times. For all the non-baseball folks, that’s like nailing almost every job interview you walk into. ๐Ÿ˜Ž

So, with all this behind him and probably a couple more zesty years ahead, what’s the market gonna look like when (or if) Hendriks goes free after 2024?

We’re all about those underdog stories, and Hendriks is the baseball embodiment of that. But, what do you think? โšพโ“

Question to Ponder: With such a tumultuous journey, will Hendriks come back stronger and throw us another curveball, or has he pitched his last fastball? Let the debates begin! ๐Ÿค”๐ŸŽค