Garrett Crochet — brilliant in win over M's — will ‘fight his tail off' for White Sox

He’s aware of the trade rumors and said an extension hasn’t been discussed with the Sox.

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Chicago White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet has just thrown a baseball

White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet watches a throw to a Toronto Blue Jays batter May 21, 2024, in Toronto.

Christopher Katsarov/AP

SEATTLE — Garrett Crochet has a phone, and internet service and friends and teammates who might bring things up when they read about him.

There is plenty of good stuff to read about the White Sox’ 24 year left-hander who is taking his first opportunity as a starting pitcher and running with it. In his 16th start of the season Thursday, Crochet struck out a season and career high 13 Mariners while allowing two hits and two walks over seven innings in a Sox 3-2 victory in 10 innings. In perhaps his best start yet, Crochet (3.16 ERA) lowered his ERA to 1.34 in his last nine starts.

A 415-foot opposite field home run by Julio Rodriguez against Michael Kopech in the ninth forced extra innings, but Andrew Vaughn’s ground ball to third scored free runner Korey Lee in the 10th and Tanner Banks pitched a perfect 10th.

Crochet leads the majors with 12.63 strikeouts per nine innings and is tied for the lead with Tyler Glasnow with 116 whiffs, well on his way to represent the worst team in baseball in the All-Star Game. Relying on his fastball and cutter on this night, the Mariners took 48 swings at Crochet and fanned on 24 of them.

“Those have been my strengths,” Crochet said. “I’ve got a good changeup and I’ve got a good slider. I just happened to throw a changeup in a bad spot. I was getting a lot of bad swings on the fastball and cutter, so I felt like that pair was working well together.”

Halting a four-game losing streak, the Sox led 2-0 on back-to-back homers by Vaughn and Luis Robert Jr. against Emerson Hancock in the third inning. Tyler Locklear’s first career homer — off Crochet’s only changeup of the game — glanced off left fielder Andrew Benintendi’s glove and off the top of the wall in the fifth.

With an $800,000 salary, two arbitration years ahead of him and free agency not coming until after the 2026 season, Crochet also would be a prize for any contending team, so it’s not surprising to read he could be dealt before the July 30 trade deadline.

“It’s very complimentary, but I just have to be where my feet are, you know?” he told the Sun-Times on Wednesday. “I have to start [Thursday], a start for the White Sox, and I’m going to go out there and try my best to shove.”

That’s pitcher slang for being excellent.

“We’re trying to win every game when we come to the field,” Crochet said. “Regardless of roster construction — that’s not our job. Our job is to come out here and be the best product we can and fight for nine innings, maybe more, if we have to [in order] to win games.”

Roster construction is general manager Chris Getz’s job. It’s also his job to identify when the Sox can be competitive again as he weighs offers for Crochet and Robert, who would bring attractive packages of prospects to add volume to the farm system.

Getz and Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf might also consider a long-term extension for Crochet, although such negotiations generally happen between January and March. Crochet said there would be something cool about seeing the team that drafted him rise from the ashes and become good again, but the Sox haven’t broached the subject of an extension.

“That’s not even on the table,” he said. “It’s just something that hasn’t been brought up.”

Perhaps that’s because the Sox didn’t know what they had in Crochet, a first-round draft pick who missed most of the last two seasons because of Tommy John surgery and shoulder problems. Crochet’s agent and trade suitors also can’t be certain yet about who he is, based on just 16 starts. A trade partner has to know Crochet will have an innings limit in the second half of the season, which likely would shift him to a valuable bullpen role before he goes back to being a starter next season.

If Crochet isn’t dealt this summer and comes away healthy and maintaining these 2 1/2 month performance standards, the Sox can plan to build a pitching staff around him and then, perhaps, discuss a new contract.

Their second half will be about developing young starters Drew Thorpe and Jonathan Cannon, too. It could also be about taking more lumps and trying to avoid making the wrong kind of history.

“My job is my job,” Crochet said. “I’m coming out here and doing my best to achieve it. The four days in between, the five days sometimes [in the case of Thursday’s start], I’m being the best cheerleader I can for these guys. We’ve been fighting our tails off, and the ball hasn’t been falling our way.”

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