Sunday, May 19, 2024

Ascending Arms: The Promising White Sox Pitching Staff

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The 2024 White Sox are historically bad, especially offensively. The lineup has tied offensive futility records that had previously stood for over a hundred years. Getting the offense back to a competitive level will take a lot of time and resources, and the team will lose a lot until the lineup improves significantly. Thankfully, though, there have still been some positive developments on the pitching side this season.

Future Ace

Garrett Crochet has been the brightest spot on the team so far. The 2024 White Sox Opening Day starter, the 24-year-old left-hander has pitched to a 3.57 ERA, 2.30 FIP, 0.84 WHIP, and 12.3 K/9 in 22.2 innings over four starts while maintaining elite percentiles nearly across the board. Most impressive, Crochet has walked only four batters all season while striking out 31. He has exceeded all expectations and will likely be the White Sox representative in this year’s All-Star Game.

Impressive Rookie Reliever

Jordan Leasure opened eyes with his fantastic performance in the spring and has carried it over into the regular season. The 25-year-old right-handed rookie reliever has not allowed a run in seven appearances. He has also struck out nearly a batter per inning while maintaining a WHIP near 1.00. Like Crochet, Baseball Savant views Leasure’s performance very favorably. Leasure has pitched mainly in the sixth and seventh innings but will likely move into a setup role sooner rather than later. He should be a long-term fixture in the White Sox bullpen.

Strong MLB Debuts

Nick Nastrini made his MLB debut on Monday night and pitched quite well. The 24-year-old right-hander allowed just two runs in five innings while striking out five, including punching out Royals superstar Bobby Witt Jr. twice. Nastrini showed a good feel for his pitches, generating 11 swings and misses. Scott Merkin of MLB.com reported that he will start again on Sunday in Philadelphia. Barring something unexpected, Nastrini will likely be part of the rotation at the MLB level for the foreseeable future. The White Sox desperately need quality starting pitching moving forward, and Nastrini could be part of the solution.

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Jonathan Cannon also just made his MLB debut today. The 23-year-old right-hander had a successful outing, allowing just one run in five innings with three strikeouts. Cannon also generated five swings and misses and five groundball outs with his sinker. In a small AAA sample size before making his MLB debut, Cannon pitched to a 2.79 ERA and struck out 11 in 9.2 innings. He is another guy who could be a long-term option in the starting rotation.

Pitching Pipeline

Jared Shuster was recently optioned to AAA but pitched well in a small sample for the White Sox this season, allowing just one run in 6.1 innings. The 25-year-old left-hander will likely be back in Chicago sooner rather than later. Drew Thorpe, Jairo Iriarte, Ky Bush, Jake Eder, and Mason Adams are currently with the AA Birmingham Barons. However, they are all notable pitching prospects and could be part of the White Sox big league roster sometime this season as well.

Final Word

While the offense needs significant work, the future pitching staff is already starting to take shape. These pitchers must prove their worth in the long haul, but we are beginning to get a glimpse into what the next successful White Sox pitching staff could look like.

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Tcloud
Tcloud
Apr 18, 2024 8:33 am

Good on you Mike for finding some positives.

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