Garrett Crochet is slated to be a big part of the White Sox pitching mix in 2022, even if his longer-term role is still up in the air. The Sox certainly have designs on eventually moving the 11th overall pick of the 2020 draft into the rotation, though the reigning AL Central champions already have a tentative starting five in place for the coming season. Plus, “it sure seems like the White Sox can little afford to leave Crochet out of their 2022 bullpen plans,” NBC Sports Chicago’s Vinnie Duber writes, as Craig Kimbrel is a popular trade candidate and the club might need Crochet to provide further depth and quality in the relief corps.
Because of the canceled 2020 minor league season, Crochet has never made even a single appearance in a minor league game, going right from the draft to Chicago’s alternate training site in 2020 and then onto the big league roster. In theory, at least a short stint in the minors would help Crochet get properly stretched out as a starter and acclimated to rotation work, though then he wouldn’t be available to provide immediate help for a White Sox team that plans to contend this year. Stretching him out during the season has its own set of pros and cons, as that tactic also wouldn’t necessarily mean Crochet was being used in optimal fashion towards helping the Sox win games. Duber figures the team’s post-lockout moves will provide a hint to Crochet’s role, since if the White Sox added some other relief depth, Crochet could then be transitioned more smoothly to starting pitching.
More from around the American League…
- Rays right-hander Seth Johnson “was a popular ask by teams at the trade deadline,” Marc Topkin of The Tampa Bay Times reports. The 40th overall pick of the 2019 draft, Johnson has posted a 2.77 ERA and 28.11% strikeout rate over his first 110 2/3 professional innings. MLB Pipeline ranks the righty as the 16th-best prospect in Tampa’s farm system, and Pipeline’s scouting report notes that Johnson could have more room to grow than most pitchers since he barely saw any mound work prior to 2019. While any team is loath to part with a good pitching prospect, the Rays haven’t been hesitant to move quality minor leaguers if the right trade comes along, and it can be argued that Tampa Bay’s success at developing young arms might make them more likely to deal from this depth (whether it be Johnson or another pitcher).
- With the Guardians still in need of outfield help, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer feels the club is more likely to address this need via the trade market than through a free agent signing. Cleveland already made one prominent swap for an outfielder back at the trade deadline, landing Myles Straw (now penciled in as their starting center fielder) from the Astros. Both corner slots are still question marks, and while several options are available in free agency, the Guardians have been traditionally hesitant about spending significant dollars on free agents.