Chicago White Sox: Where does Garrett Crochet fit into the lineup?

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

Garrett Crochet, 21, has yet to pick up a win this season for the Chicago White Sox because of where manager Tony La Russa places him. Crochet was the 11th overall pick by the White Sox in the 2020 MLB draft out of Tennessee. In his last three outings, Crochet has not lived up to expectation, letting up four total runs (only one earned). He has a record of 0-2 on the season thus far.

Garrett Crochet will succeed for the Chicago White Sox in 2021 if put in the right spot.

The problem for Crochet this season has been his innings pitched have come late in games in tight situations. Crochet is just a rookie in this league he should be dialed back to a middle reliever in every game.

His last outing, before his entrance to the bump on Sunday against the Boston Red Sox, he played against the Cleveland Indians. In that game, he came into the seventh inning with zero outs, no one on base, and down one run. He left giving up two hits, one run, and the Sox going down two.

His two losses on the season came in his two outings before then. He came into both games, one against the Indians and the other versus the Kansas City Royals, in the tenth inning. Against the Royals, Crochet gave up the game-winning run. Against the Indians, he left the game giving up two hits and two runs.

How can the Sox better utilize Crochet?

Crochet is an excellent talent in the MLB. He is already a big part of the Sox bullpen because he has a cannon of an arm. However, his fielding and control need to improve which isn’t a problem because he’s only 21 years old.

The problem is that the Sox can’t be relying on Crochet to be a set-up man like Aaron Bummer. Sometimes, like in his two losses, to act as a closer for the Sox in crunch time. It showed in both of his losses that he may not be ready for that type of role. He committed fielding errors in each of those games which were costly to the game. He looked shook on the mound and unprepared to come into high-intensity situations where he was asked to get the Sox out of a jam.

Crochet is a fastball heavy pitcher. He uses the fastball for 70.9 percent of his pitches. He only has two other pitches in his arsenal. While that seems dynamic and dominant enough to be a set-up man, he does not yet seem ready to step into that role.

Boston Red Sox entry

Against the Boston Red Sox on Sunday evening, Crochet came into the fifth inning and got the Sox out of a jam after Matt Foster. Crochet allowed one hit and struck out one batter to get out of the jam. He was replaced by Aaron Bummer who played the set-up man role in the sixth inning.

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It is possible that La Russa noticed the pattern of Crochet’s struggles and used him as a short-leashed middle reliever for the doubleheader on Sunday. Sox fans should continue to monitor Crochet’s situation. Not only because he has struggled this season at times but because he is a young talent with plenty of MLB upside.