White Sox’ postseason bullpen would have nastier look with Crochet, Bummer

Garrett Crochet was lights-out in his major-league debut Friday, and Aaron Bummer, their top lefty reliever, appears close to returning.

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Garrett Crochet throws against the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati, Friday, Sept. 18, 2020. The Reds won 7-1. (AP Photo/Aaron Doster)

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On Friday afternoon, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn made a surprise announcement: Left-hander Garrett Crochet, the 11th player selected in the draft only three months ago, had joined the team in Cincinnati for a look-see.

On Friday night, Crochet looked good. Really good, in fact. Like, 101 mph with command good. Like, three-up, three-down with two strikeouts good.

Crochet pitched a 1-2-3 sixth inning against the lower third of the Reds’ lineup in the Sox’ 7-1 loss. Brian Goodwin (strikeout looking), Jose Garcia (strikeout swinging) and Tyler Barnhart (grounder to first) went down quickly on a night the Reds slugged four home runs — including one by Barnhart — against Sox prospect Jonathan Stiever.

With no minor-league games to prepare for the majors, Crochet got his prep work done in bullpen sessions and simulated games at the Sox’ training facility in Schaumburg. His confidence grew by the day.

‘‘After [Friday night], it’s still going up,’’ he said.

Crochet made such an impression at Schaumburg that plans were put in place to call him up to the majors with the goal of adding a potentially lethal arm in the bullpen for the postseason.

‘‘Obviously very impressive,’’ manager Rick Renteria said. ‘‘We just keep moving forward and see where it takes us.’’

Crochet won’t pitch perfectly every night, of course, but his debut was something else. Thirteen pitches, nine strikes and six offerings at 100 or 101 mph. One of his pitches was clocked at 101.5 mph, the fastest by a Sox player in the pitch-tracking era. And to think his last real game was with Tennessee, where he pitched only 3„ innings as a junior this spring.

Now if the Sox can get reliever Aaron Bummer (1.23 ERA) healthy for the playoffs, they could be well-fortified from the left side. Bummer hasn’t pitched since Aug. 7 because of a biceps issue, but he looked good throwing a 20-pitch simulated game Saturday in Cincinnati, Renteria said.

‘‘He feels good,’’ Renteria said. ‘‘We’re very positive about how he’s progressing.’’

The Sox’ bullpen entered the game Saturday ranked sixth in the majors with a 3.58 ERA, and it was 1.68 in the last 13 games. Hahn said he expects right-hander Evan Marshall (shoulder inflammation) to return from the injured list by the end of the week. Marshall and rookies Codi Heuer and Matt Foster have been the most effective right-handers out of the pen in front of closer Alex Colome.

As the Sox sort out their 28-man roster for the postseason, which begins with a best-of-three wild-card series Sept. 29, they also have right-handers Reynaldo Lopez and Jimmy Cordero and left-handers Gio Gonzalez, Jace Fry and Ross Detwiler in the mix. And left-hander Carlos Rodon, who is on the IL with a sore shoulder, hasn’t been ruled out.

Nor has Crochet, the first pitcher to go straight to the majors in his draft year since Mike Morgan and Tim Conroy in 1978.

‘‘We do think he has the potential to make us stronger here over the next several weeks,’’ Hahn said.

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