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Back strain lands White Sox left-hander Garrett Crochet on IL; Luis Robert returns

The Sox also recalled infielder Danny Mendick from the Schaumburg training facility to serve as the 27th man for Thursday’s doubleheader.

The White Sox placed LHP Garrett Crochet on the 10-day injured list.
The White Sox placed LHP Garrett Crochet on the 10-day injured list.
John Antonoff/For the Sun-Times

The White Sox will be without an important piece to their bullpen for a while after left-hander Garrett Crochet landed on the 10-day injured list with an upper back strain.

The Sox also announced before their doubleheader with the Tigers on Thursday that center fielder Luis Robert has been reinstated from the injured list. Robert wasn’t feeling well Monday and was sidelined for precautionary reasons. After passing tests for the coronavirus, he is ready to go and will play in the second game Thursday, manager Tony La Russsa said.

“I feel much better, no headache or fever, the only thing is my body feels a little lethargic from being in bed but I will be good to go today,” Robert said through translator Billy Russo.

The Sox also recalled infielder Danny Mendick from the Schaumburg training facility to serve as the 27th man for today’s seven-inning games. Having called up right-hander Alex McRae this week, the Sox have eight relievers, as usual, in the bullpen.

Crochet, 21, owns a 1.00 ERA over nine innings with eight strikeouts in eight relief appearances. His absence leaves Aaron Bummer as the only lefty in the Sox bullpen. The Sox’ first-round draft choice in 2020, Crochet hasn’t touched the 100-mph velocity levels he wowed the league with when he made his debut last season, and the revelation of a back issue finally lends some reasoning as to why.

“There were times during spring training when he didn’t feel like his delivery was all together,” La Russa said Thursday. “He could get a little cranky but it’s something that has progressed with time. More than anything else it’s precaution to back off now. We feel confident 10 days from now it will solve it. Just getting his delivery together where it’s nice and smooth.”

Crochet last pitched on Sunday, when he threw a season-high 46 pitches over three scoreless innings, on four days rest.

Robert had COVID during offseason

Robert revealed that he had a bout with the coronavirus during the offseason, which lessened his concern while he wasn’t feeling well with a sore throat Monday.

“But because we have to follow the protocols if you have any symptoms right now, I let the team know and we proceeded with it,” he said.

Robert was batting .305/.356/.463 with eight doubles, one triple and one home run over 21 games. Mendick is hitting .375/.524/.375 in eight games.

Hello, Leury

After striking out with the tying run at third and one out in the third inning of game 1, Leury Garcia, struggling with a .189 average, broke a tie with a two-run single in the fifth.

Starting at second base in place of Nick Madrigal in Game 1, Garcia made a difficult catch on a sidearm flip from shortstop Tim Anderson for a forceout on a very close play in the fifth. Garcia was in the starting lineup in right field in Game 2.

La Russa said Garcia had been pressing a bit, trying to do too much, and hoped the big hit would get him jump-started.

“You’ve all seen it, he’s a really good player and when he gets going he’ll be a tremendous asset for us,” La Russa said.

Eaton serves suspension

Outfielder Adam Eaton served his one-game suspension in Game 2 for his role in starting a benches-clearing incident between the Sox and Indians on April 15. Eaton had appealed the disciplinary action from MLB. Eaton was also fined an undisclosed amount, which will go to charity.