Finally, the White Sox get some Garrett Crochet news, as it seemed like he had fallen off the face of the earth. It has been reported today that he will start a rehab assignment in Birmingham for the Barons.
Honestly, at this point, I am very surprised they bothered doing a rehab assignment for him, as there is not much time left in the season. But, this could signal his return to the pros if all goes well. If the Sox are smart, there should be no rush for him to come back, as he could be a big part of the White Sox’s plans in 2024.
Crochet’s career has been an interesting one, to say the least. After the White Sox picked him 11th overall in the 2020 MLB draft, he was the first one from the draft class to make it to the MLB, as they called him up after only drafting him a few months prior. At that point in time, it was pretty unprecedented for a pitcher to move that quickly.
In 2020, he would come in to throw six scoreless innings and looked like he belonged in the majors. He would consistently be hitting 100+ with his fastball and paired it with an absolutely devastating slider. He really looked like he was the real deal.
Unfortunately, in the 3rd game against the A’s in the first round of the playoffs, Crochet would have to exit the game with an arm injury after striking out both batters he would come in to face. Many feared he would need Tommy John, but he would start the season with the White Sox in 2021.
He would pitch very well in 2021, as he had a 2.82 ERA over 54 games. He would strike out 64 in just 54 innings. While his velocity was down from the year prior, he was still able to get outs and he was very effective. Many thought he was ready to make the jump to the rotation in 2022.
But, the fear from 2020 came true, as before the season started in 2022, it was reported that he would need Tommy John surgery and would miss the whole season. He would make it back in early 2023, but he would only pitch 10 innings before getting hurt again.
In the last two seasons, he has pitched 10 innings total. This is not ideal for his development and it could be a hindrance to him moving to the rotation. But, with the uncertainty in the White Sox rotation in 2024, they should give him a shot to start, as he started in college.
I would love to see the White Sox begin to stretch out his workload in AA where the games don’t matter for him. Starting pitching is the most valuable position on the field and if you can turn Crochet into a solid starter, it would open a lot of possibilities for the Sox moving forward.
The best route would be to keep him in AA for the rest of the season to build up his stamina and work all offseason on his pitch count. Hopefully, by the time Spring Training rolls around, he can start some games and work his way into the rotation. This would be the best-case scenario, but first, he needs to stay healthy.