Liam Hendriks has two different personalities: An approachable, laid back guy in the clubhouse downing his sixth Starbucks of the day, and an animal on the mound you would be terrified to face in the box.
The former A’s closer now finds himself on the south side of Chicago pitching for the White Sox after signing a lucrative, well-deserved deal on the back of being the best reliever in the game. It’s something former MLB pitcher-turned analyst Peter Moylan loved to watch.
“I’ve spoken to Liam a few times,” Moylan said on the latest episode of Balk Talk. “We’ve met in person a couple times, but w’ve spoken a bit on podcasts, my personal opinion is that he’s been through so much through his career, that at this point, he’s got nothing to lose. He’s like, ‘You know what, what else is there? I’ve been DFA’d four times, I was a starter in the wild-card game after being DFA’d,’ ... all of these things he’s had to go through, and at this point now, he knows he’s the best reliever in the game and he goes out proves it every time he’s out there.”
Moylan, a fellow Aussie, approached his role out of the bullpen differently. Despite his mind going a million miles a minute, he had a way of being calm on the mound, or at least he appeared that way.
The 12-year MLB veteran had a unique story of his own with his career to the bigs, just as Hendriks did. Not sure if it’s the similar background of being from Australia, but Moylan and Hendriks did share a few things in common: Being humble, being amazing clubhouse guys … and you never know what they’re going to say, but you know it’ll be honest.
Hendriks, across the last two seasons with the A’s, cemented himself as being one of the best in the game and was a reminder to people the bullpen guys deserve respect, both as pitchers, and in monetary value.
During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, Hendriks posted a 1.79 ERA and 0.90 WHIP with 161 strikeouts in 110 1/3 innings.
“I don’t know what [Hendriks] did to turn himself into the closer he is as far as pitching goes,” Moylan said, “but whatever it is, keep doing it man because it’s fun to watch.”