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As Chicago White Sox get bullpen help ahead of trade deadline, Liam Hendriks says it’s time to ‘define our season’ – The Denver Post

Liam Hendriks tapped into his Australian rules football terminology to describe where the Chicago White Sox were at in early August.

“The third quarter is the championship quarter,” the All-Star Closer said Sunday. “So I feel like August is the third quarter of the season. And that’s something that can make or break a championship run.

The Sox were two games behind the first-place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central as they started a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals on Monday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. They’re in contention despite only having one game over .500.

“Shooting around .500, we have to break that curse,” Hendriks said. “And as soon as we do that, I think it’s one of those things that you roll. It’s like this guy hovering around that .200 average. Once it reaches 0.205, all of a sudden it reaches 0.260 at the end of the year.

“Five hundred is like the Mendoza Line for us this year. But we go into this series of games – I think I’ve said this enough times – it’s an important time. At some point we have to define our season and have an impact.

The trade deadline approaches at 5 p.m. Tuesday, and the Sox made a move Monday, acquiring reliever Jake Diekman from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for reserve receiver Reese McGuire and a player to be named or cash consideration. .

Diekman, 35, is 5-1 with a 4.23 ERA, 51 strikeouts and 12 strikeouts in 44 appearances this season, his first with the Red Sox. He will join Tanner Banks as a southpaw in the White Sox bullpen.

He is signed until next season with a club option for 2024.

Diekman has a 3.77 ERA, 632 strikeouts, 15 saves and 167 catches in 573 career games over 11 major league seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies (2012-15), Texas Rangers (2015 -18), Arizona Diamondbacks (2018), Royals (2019), Oakland Athletics (2019-21) and Red Sox (2022).

He also made 13 playoff appearances with the Rangers (2015-16) and A’s (2019-20), posting a 4.50 ERA and 11 strikeouts in 12 innings.

McGuire joined the White Sox in spring training in a trade with the Toronto Blue Jays and cut .225/.261/.285 with nine doubles, 10 RBIs and 12 runs scored in 53 games.

Hendriks said on Sunday that the front office had come to the players for comments on potential additions.

“That’s what I love about the front office here,” Hendriks said. “They ask guys, ‘How’s that guy at the clubhouse? How is this guy as a person? That guy in the field? It might be the perfect fit but the guy can be (a moron) and change the morale of this clubhouse.

“You never want to get these guys in trouble…especially when we have a tight unit here. We want to make sure that everyone who comes fits that mold and gets along with everyone.

Hendriks recalled how trades provided a boost when he was on the Toronto Blue Jays in 2015.

“A .500 team at the deadline and we went out and got (Troy) Tulowitzki, LaTroy Hawkins, Cliff Pennington, David Price, among other guys in there who completely changed the trajectory of the season, and that is something the front office does a lot,” Hendriks said. “It’s a morale booster you can get here that can completely flip the momentum of things.”

The Sox remain a confident group, Hendriks said, “because you see what kind of level of talent is in this clubhouse.”

“It’s not like we’re playing on our skis,” he said. “We underperformed as a unit and that’s something everyone at this club understands. It doesn’t give us any leeway in the fact that we still have to do what we can do.

“We understand that we haven’t reached our potential, but we have to find that potential. If we do, we can win the division…especially with the schedule ahead of us.

Luis Robert ‘unlikely’ to star in Royals series

Sox manager Tony La Russa said center fielder Luis Robert “felt better” than Sunday, but cold symptoms persist.

“Be careful with him,” La Russa said of the team’s approach. “He’s better, so we’re crossing our fingers.”

Robert was on the disabled list retroactive to July 19 with blurred vision.

He began a rehab assignment Thursday with Triple-A Charlotte but was out of the lineup Friday with cold symptoms. He returned to Chicago over the weekend and played with the coaching staff in the outfield before Monday’s game.

La Russa said it was “unlikely” that Robert would be ready to play in the series against the Royals.

As for joining Charlotte to continue rehabilitation, La Russa said: “It’s something we’ve talked about” but no decision has been made.

“The first thing is to prepare him for the game, one thing at a time,” La Russa said.

Pitcher Vince Velasquez joins Charlotte on a rehabilitation mission. He went to IL on July 6 with a blister on his right index finger.

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