The White Sox announced Tuesday that they’ve selected the contract of righty Davis Martin from Triple-A Charlotte and transferred lefty Garrett Crochet to the 60-day injured list in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster. The move involving Crochet was a formality after the southpaw underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year. Martin will start the second game of today’s doubleheader, per the Sox. Chicago also placed right-hander Michael Kopech on the paternity list and called up right-hander Kyle Crick as the 27th man for today’s twin bill.
It’ll be the Major League debut for Martin, 25, who was the ChiSox’ 14th-round pick back in 2018. He entered the season ranked 22nd among Chicago farmhands over at FanGraphs and can’t have hurt his stock with a strong performance so far. Maritn opened the season in Double-A Birmingham, where he notched a 3.38 ERA with a huge 32.4% strikeout rate against a tidy 6.9% walk rate. His strikeout rate has dipped to 18.6% in a smaller sample of two Triple-A starts, but Martin has also walked just 4.7% of his Triple-A opponents while pitching to a 1.50 ERA there. Overall, he’s sporting a combined 2.50 ERA and 41-to-9 K/BB ratio through 36 frames between the minor leagues’ top two levels.
After seeing the fruits of their last rebuild (e.g. Luis Robert, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez) graduate to the Majors (to say nothing of names like Dane Dunning and Nick Madrigal, who were traded for veterans) the Sox have a notoriously thin farm system. That doesn’t, however, mean it’s totally devoid of depth, and Martin certainly has the makings of a potentially useful spot starter or back-of-the-rotation option. Given that the South Siders currently have Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito on the injured list, having some optionable rotation depth is of increased importance.
That said, Giolito is expected to return from the Covid-related injured list perhaps as soon as tomorrow. The Athletic’s James Fegan tweets that he’s expected to start Wednesday’s game, pushing the remainder of the rotation back a day. Lynn, meanwhile, is slated to throw to hitters Friday as he works back from knee surgery.
Even with Giolito and perhaps Lynn not too far off on the horizon, there should be ample opportunities for Martin if he impresses in today’s spot start and continues to impress down the line in the upper minors. The Sox are likely going to be judicious with Michael Kopech’s workload, and both Dallas Keuchel and Vince Velasquez have struggled mightily in the season’s first six weeks. Johnny Cueto was brilliant in yesterday’s White Sox debut, giving the team a much-needed boost after having his contract selected from Triple-A — he’d inked a minor league deal in early April — but other injuries and absences will surely open additional doors for Martin and others from the farm to make an impact.