White Sox ideal plan for Garrett Crochet: Bullpen in 2021, rotation in 2022

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Vinnie Duber
·3 min read
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Sox ideal plan for Crochet: 'Pen in 2021, rotation in 2022 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Garrett Crochet dropped jaws when he blew away major league hitters just a few months after being drafted, without a single minor league game under his belt.

So what's the team's plan for the dazzling youngster moving forward?

That figured to be a storyline of the spring, as the White Sox have made known their intent to make Crochet a part of their starting rotation in the long term. But as a tantalizing option out of the big league bullpen in a 2021 season with World Series aspirations, would he stay a part of the major league relief corps or get started on developing as a starter in the minor leagues?

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Well, that question might have an answer before spring training even begins, with White Sox assistant general manager Chris Getz saying Wednesday that the team sees Crochet as a multi-inning reliever in 2021 and, ideally, a part of the major league starting rotation beginning in 2022.

"Pointing back to last year, the way he was used and how effective he was, and you look at this upcoming year with the needs that we have on our major league club, most likely the best fit for him and our club is to be in more of a bullpen role, a multi-inning role, with the understanding that long term we still view him as a starter," Getz said. "That experience that you gain in the bullpen certainly will benefit him.

"He's a guy that, coming off of a 2020 with a lighter starting workload, for 2022, we have to be very creative, we have to be very cautious of how many innings we put under his belt. And the bullpen role is probably the safest landing spot to accomplish that. Hopefully we look up at the end of the year and he's got an ample amount of innings, therefore we're comfortable with him starting the following year."

That sets Crochet up to play a huge role for the White Sox as they chase a championship in 2021. The 21-year-old lefty could potentially be looked at as an Andrew Miller type for the South Side relief corps, a strong unit made even stronger this offseason with the signing of All-Star closer Liam Hendriks.

While the White Sox have given folks plenty of reason to focus on the upcoming season in lieu of the long-term planning they were doing during the rebuilding years, Getz's words allow for a look into the future, as well. Newly acquired starting pitcher Lance Lynn is under contract for just one more season, setting up Crochet as a possible option to step into that role a year from now.

It remains to be seen if Crochet's development plays out that way, of course, but there at least exists a scenario in which he skips the minor leagues entirely, continuing to acclimate himself to the big leagues in the 'pen this season and then making the move to the rotation the following year.

"We certainly need to see how this year plays out," Getz said. "I think the hope would be that he can transition as a starter the following year, but there's certainly plenty of unknowns there.

"I just know that he's ready for this year to start. He's excited for the role that's going to be given to him. And I think any Chicago White Sox fan or baseball fan is going to enjoy watching him pitch."

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