White Sox GM Rick Hahn told reporters (including The Athletic’s James Fegan) that right-hander Jimmy Lambert has been placed on the 15-day injured list due to right ankle inflammation. Lambert’s IL placement is retroactive to May 28, and it opens a roster space for Liam Hendriks, who is making his return from the 15-day IL today.
The injury adds to what has already been a tough year for Lambert, who has a 5.91 ERA over 21 1/3 innings. Lambert’s 23.8% strikeout rate is slightly above the league average, but he has been allowing a lot of hard contact and heavy damage — his 15.9% barrel rate is among the lowest in baseball, and Lambert has given up six homers over his 21 1/3 frames. A 12.9% walk rate also hasn’t helped Lambert’s cause.
Now in his fourth MLB season, Lambert seemed to be turning a corner after the White Sox made him a full-time reliever in 2022, as he delivered a 3.26 ERA over 47 innings. While walks were still an issue for Lambert last season, he did a much better job of keeping the ball in the park, with only four homers allowed.
Lambert is one of several White Sox relievers who have struggled this year, as only the woeful A’s have a higher bullpen ERA than the 5.17 number posted by Chicago’s relief corps. Beyond the obvious emotional impact of Hendriks’ return, the three-time All-Star should provide some instant help to the bullpen. For more on Hendriks’ cancer diagnosis and recovery over the last five months, ESPN’s Jeff Passan detailed Hendriks’ story in a feature piece earlier today.