When the Chicago White Sox drafted Garrett Crochet in 2020, he was a starter at the University of Tennessee. He was very good and looked like he could be a star in the big leagues one day.
The COVID-19 pandemic was currently going on during that time and it messed with his college season and the early stages of his pro career. Eventually, the White Sox brought him in and he never got to play in the minors. He was used as a reliever out of the gate.
In 2021, he was a phenomenal bullpen pitcher. In 54 appearances, he had a 2.82 ERA, 65 strikeouts, and only 27 walks in 54.1 innings pitched. It wasn't an incredibly large sample size, but he was used in high-leverage situations.
The Chicago White Sox are in a spot where they need to make changes
During the following offseason, he had Tommy John and missed all of 2022. He also missed most of 2023 before finally getting back.
He made 13 appearances in 2023. He wasn't as good as he was the year before in this even smaller sample size but he wasn't horrible, either. In 12.2 innings, he had a 3.55 ERA with 12 strikeouts and 13 walks. All of his numbers got worse.
It is hard to come back from an injury like that but now we have to worry that the White Sox messed up another high-end prospect's potential.
The rumor now is that Crochet is preparing to be a starter in 2024. If the White Sox allow this, that would be a big mistake for them. He has never started in this league and now is not the time to throw him in that fire.
If he earns that role again, that would be fine. For now, you can't just make him a starter when he has less than 70 innings pitched over the last three seasons. Once it is clear that Crochet is healthy and back on his game, then you can make that type of transition. Michael Kopech tried it and even he isn't having much success.
They might trade Dylan Cease and that is going to open yet another hole in the rotation, but putting Crochet in that position isn't fair to him.
He isn't going to say no to doing it either because he is a competitor. Hopefully, the White Sox make the best decision for the long-term future of both him and the franchise.