The White Sox announced that lefty Garrett Crochet has been placed on the 10-day IL (retroactive to April 26) with an upper back strain. The South Siders also reinstated center fielder Luis Robert from the injured list and called up infielder Danny Mendick to serve as the 27th man for today’s twin bill against the Tigers.
Crochet’s ascension to and dominance in the Majors has been rather remarkable. The 21-year-old was the No. 11 overall pick out of Tennessee last year but was in the big leagues just months later and even made Chicago’s postseason roster. Counting that lone appearance in the AL Wild Card Series, which saw him depart early due to a left forearm strain, he’s pitched 15 2/3 innings and held opponents to one earned run (plus three unearned) on 12 hits and five walks with 18 strikeouts. Crochet averaged 100.2 mph on his heater in 2020, though that average velo is down to “only” 96.6 mph early in 2021.
The Sox have yet to give any indication as to how long Crochet might be sidelined. His absence leaves Aaron Bummer as the only southpaw option in the bullpen, and the Sox don’t have another lefty option on the 40-man roster to call up as a replacement. They do have a trio of non-roster lefties slated to open the year in Triple-A, however: Jacob Lindgren, Kodi Medeiros and Nik Turley.
Robert returns after just a couple days away from the roster. He’d been on the Covid list after reporting symptoms but looks to have been quickly tested negative and been cleared to play. Mendick will return for a brief look after going 6-for-16 with five walks and five strikeouts in 21 plate appearances earlier this season. He’s a .272/.320/.401 hitter in 175 plate appearances and can play all over the infield.