Friday, June 14, 2024

Despite Rough Outing, Nastrini Will Remain In White Sox Rotation


Nick Nastrini’s return to the MLB did not go as planned. On Wednesday the White Sox No. 8 prospect made his third start of the season a month after he was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. 

Nastrini received a rude welcome from the Toronto Blue Jays who tagged him for nine runs (eight earned) on seven hits, and six walks with no strikeouts. Those seven hits included a 413-foot blast from Bo Bichette to put the finishing touches on a seven-run second inning. 

Nastrini was able to get ahead in count but struggled to put hitters away as he faced 10 batters in the second inning. His command alluded him throughout the afternoon as he only threw 47 of his 86 pitches for strikes. 

“Definitely not the way we mapped that one out,” Nastrini said on Wednesday. “I did a good job of getting to two strikes…I just didn’t execute. Going back and looking at the film after that inning, there were good pitches that were around in the zone, but they weren’t good enough. That’s the whole day, it just wasn’t good enough.” 

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Despite the struggles, White Sox manager Pedro Grifol says the 24-year-old right-hander will get another crack at the Blues Jays. 

“What I told him was this: He’s gonna face these guys in five days. That’s the schedule right now. So he’s got four days to make all the necessary adjustments,” Grifol told the media after the game. 

Nastrini was recalled from Charlotte on Wednesday after Brad Keller was DFA’d. Instead of moving Michael Soroka back into the starting rotation the White Sox opted to leave him in the bullpen in favor of Nastrini. 

Nastrini looked good in his MLB debut on April 15th, tossing five innings of two-run ball with five strikeouts. However, in his next outing against the Phillies, he lasted just three innings after allowing six runs. Walks have killed Nastrini so far. In just 11.1 innings he has allowed 13 free passes and 16 hits. That is not a recipe for success for a young pitcher with a defense tied for the seventh most errors in the MLB behind him. His ERA now sits at 11.91.

The White Sox recalled Nastrini to allow him to improve on the highest level. These early growing pains are just part of the process. Nastrini will get another shot against the Blue Jays lineup in his next start in Chicago. It’s a rare opportunity for immediate redemption.  Grifol believes for a young player like Nastrini his mindset is everything. 

“You can look at it as, ‘Damn, I’m going to have to face these guys again and I just gave up nine runs,’ or as, ‘I can’t wait to face them again.”

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