White Sox left-hander Garrett Crochet left the team’s Game 3 wild-card round loss to the Athletics on Oct. 1, though it wasn’t clear why his season came to a premature end. It turns out that Crochet suffered a flexor strain, general manager Rick Hahn revealed Monday (via James Fegan of The Athletic). While flexor strains often lead to Tommy John surgery, Crochet avoided damage to his ulnar collateral ligament, per Hahn. Chicago expects him to be ready for spring training.
Meanwhile, second baseman Nick Madrigal – another of Chicago’s key young players – underwent surgery on his left shoulder, Scott Merkin of MLB.com relays. Madrigal will require five to six months to recover, which could jeopardize his chances of being at full strength when the spring comes.
This news is a mixed bag for the White Sox, though it’s clearly a relief that Crochet seems to have dodged an especially serious injury. The 21-year-old was the 11th overall pick in this year’s draft, and he wasted little time making a significant impact in the bigs. After the White Sox promoted him in September, Crochet used his blazing fastball to throw six scoreless regular-season innings with eight strikeouts and no walks. Crochet then struck out both batters he faced in his playoff debut before walking off the mound in what proved to be a season-ending defeat for the White Sox.
The 23-year-old Madrigal had a highly effective rookie campaign in his own right, as he slashed .340/.376/.369 in 109 plate appearances. But Madrigal’s shoulder, which he separated Aug. 5, shelved him for almost a month. The hope now is that he’ll be ready when the 2021 season opens.