White Sox offseason: Garrett Crochet’s 2022 role still undecided

How will the Chicago White Sox use Garrett Crochet in 2022?

The Front Office is still trying to find out, or at least it was when General Manager Rick Hahn spoke at GM’s meetings in Southern California earlier this month.

The White Sox made Crochet number 11 in the 2020 draft, the fireballing left-handed man dazzling fans and onlookers alike as he raced into the big leagues and threw out the bullpen on the South Side – and threw 101 mph gasoline – without a single minor- League game under their belt. It was a mainstay of the relief corps in 2021, and although that breathtaking pace had slowed, it was one of Tony La Russa’s most requested weapons by the end of the season.

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However, Crochet wasn’t as sophisticated at doing this as it was viewed as a member of the future starting rotation in the minor leagues, or as a member of the major league starting team, in 2022. If he is eventually to be the long-term pitcher, the Still think White Sox is possible, he’ll have to prepare for it at some point.

But with 2022 on the horizon and the White Sox’s bullpen severely exhausted from off-season departures, it suggests that Crochet should stay exactly where it is and serve the major league team in a relief function while it is preparing for the hunting championship next summer.

So what are the White Sox supposed to do?

“I don’t have a good answer to that yet,” said Hahn in California. “He’s had a very good year which makes you hesitate to remove him from something that works because he’s valuable in that role. Even so, we still strongly believe in his potential to be a powerful starter. That’s just something that we might want to get out of him.

“What I don’t have a good answer for yet is how exactly we’re going to balance it out at Club ’22.”

Of course, Crochet wasn’t the only emergency helper for 2021 that is forecast to switch from 2022 onwards.

Michael Kopech will join the rotation for the next year after being kicked off the bullpen in 2021 to keep him involved after consecutive missed seasons. Kopech’s use was an act throughout the campaign, and the White Sox seemed to change his role every few months, putting him in early (with great success) as a middle helper / starter and then putting him in their late inning mix before hitting him reaches out at the end of the season to throw multiple innings at once in the playoffs.

Whether that was the “creative” use Hahn had envisioned when he talked about Kopech last season, who knows. But it seemed to do the job of getting a decent amount of innings under Kopech’s belt so the team would be comfortable making him a starter in 2022.

A similar fate could await Crochet, but that is only one possible outcome.

“Of course we probably had Kopech deeper in his professional development than Crochet at the start of the ’21 season, but we could find a way to use him in the bullpen but still occasionally start stretching it out a bit and putting” him in a good position to get into the rotation this season, “said Hahn.” So it’s possible that we’ll do next year with Garrett. That’s an option.

“There is a way where it starts in the minors for a period and then possibly goes into the bullpen later in the year. That’s just a (hypothetical). . It’s just trying to be creative to maximize that kid’s talent. “

One reason this is such a headache is because crocheting has been shown to be very effective as a tool. Although he didn’t knock the boys down as he did in his sneak peek of the majors in 2020, he nonetheless ended the 2021 season with a 2.82 ERA and 65 strikeouts over 54.1 relief innings.

With Craig Kimbrel being openly discussed as a trade candidate, Ryan Tepera and Evan Marshall going through the free agency, and Kopech going on rotation, there are some gaping holes in the White Sox’s bullpen, holes that would get even bigger if Crochet were plucked also gone.

While Hahn was discussing the development of young guns like Kopech and Crochet as keys to the White Sox’s planned clash beyond the 2022 season, and these two were making important contributions at the moment, he has to put together a bullpen that is behind Liam. Hendriks and Aaron Bummer can survive if the South Siders become champions next season.

The best way to do this might be to leave Crochet where he is, although the reason Hahn & Co. haven’t committed to it yet has probably to do with what other weapons they are adding to the auxiliary corps be able.

“We’ll see” is never a popular answer with hungry fans during the Hot Stove season. But when it comes to crochet and how the White Sox will use it next season, a lot could depend on how the team’s work goes so far in the off-season that this is the only answer available right now.

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