Chicago White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet impresses vs. Los Angeles Dodgers — including a 1-2-3 inning vs. 3 former MVPs

GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Chicago White Sox had Garrett Crochet on the board to pitch one inning in his first Cactus League outing Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Crochet was so effective facing former MVPs Mookie Betts, Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman in the first that he was given the chance to return for the second.

“That was nice,” Crochet said. “I was kind of scratching at the door all week long about that. Had a quick one so was able to get out there again.”

Crochet allowed two hits and struck out two in 1 2/3 scoreless innings in the 9-6 loss in front of 6,678 at Camelback Ranch.

“I felt good,” he said. “I got some things I’ve been working on (and can) take into my next game, into my bullpen here the next few days.”

Crochet’s fastball had plenty of life as he was clocked in the upper 90s.

“He went out there throwing strikes, pounding the strike zone with 97 to 100 and a power breaking ball,” manager Pedro Grifol said Wednesday. “He earned that second (inning). So he was able to have a little fun for two.”

Crochet threw 34 pitches, mostly fastballs and sliders.

“(It was) coming out pretty good,” he said. “Had some good takes and some bad swings. They timed it up a couple times. When you’re not landing the slider, that’s going to happen.

“Just throwing strikes, that’s been my theme.”

The left-hander is attempting to go from the bullpen to the rotation.

“(There is) a lot of competition going on this spring,” Crochet said. “It’s going to push everybody, and right now I’m seeing the benefits of that. Just going to keep pushing.”

Related Articles

Grifol said Crochet is progressing as planned.

“We have his innings mapped out and we are going to keep stretching him out,” Grifol said.

Crochet, who has impressed during live batting practice, said he has continued to work this spring on “having more confidence and conviction in my stuff.”

“There were a couple of times (Tuesday) when I challenged hitters and they beat me,” he said. “And a couple times when they challenged me and I won. That’s the thing I’ve worked on all spring long, just throwing pitches with conviction.”

Crochet got Betts to ground out to second baseman Nicky Lopez and then struck out Ohtani looking. Crochet ended the first by getting Freeman to ground out to shortstop Paul DeJong.

“That’s what you want after putting in a lot of hard work in the offseason,” he said of facing the trio. “I want to face a good lineup and see how things are playing.

“The results were good. Some positives to take away but some things to work on as well. Just going to keep grinding.”

Jesse Scholtens to undergo Tommy John surgery

The Sox placed pitcher Jesse Scholtens on the 60-day injured list Tuesday with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow. The right-hander is scheduled to have surgery Friday.

“Obviously there’s frustration, but just trying to keep myself in a good mental spot,” Scholtens said Wednesday. “It is what it is at this point as far as my arm health. Can’t do anything to change it other than go through the surgery and the rehab. Right now I’m just kind of locked in on the rehab going forward.”

Scholtens, 28, went 1-9 with a 5.29 ERA in 26 appearances (11 starts) for the Sox last season.

“Everyone has had their words of encouragement, whether they’ve gone through it or not,” Scholtens said. “The guys that have gone through it and have come back, definitely talking to them and picking their brains a little bit on how to attack it. These guys came in and crushed their rehab. I’m looking to do the same myself.”

Sox, Cubs trade minor-league pitchers

The Sox made a trade Tuesday with the Cubs, acquiring left-hander Bailey Horn in exchange for right-hander Matthew Thompson. Horn, who was traded from the Sox to the Cubs for pitcher Ryan Tepera on July 29, 2021, went 7-3 with a 4.21 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 45 relief appearances last season between Double-A Tennessee and Triple-A Iowa.

“Had a great time with (the Sox organization) in ’20 and ’21,” Horn said Wednesday. “And unfortunately I was traded back then. It’s great to be back home.”

Thompson, a second-round pick in the 2019 draft, was 12-31 with a 5.09 ERA and 320 strikeouts in 74 starts during four seasons (2019, 2021-23) in the Sox minor-league system.