Garrett Crochet should be Chicago White Sox closer of the future

CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 29: Garrett Crochet #45 of the Chicago White Sox looks on against the Cincinnati Reds on September 29, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
CHICAGO - SEPTEMBER 29: Garrett Crochet #45 of the Chicago White Sox looks on against the Cincinnati Reds on September 29, 2021 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox have been able to be patient with their highly touted young arms. Both Michael Kopech and Garrett Crochet, two impressive pitching prospects that are expected to be a part of their rotation, spent the majority of the 2021 season in the bullpen. This allowed them to get plenty of major league experience before they were needed to be a part of the White Sox rotation.

Kopech is expected to get that turn this year. Crochet, meanwhile, could get the opportunity to stretch out in the minors before he is needed at the major league level as a starter. However, that may not be the best usage of his abilities.

Chicago White Sox need to keep Garrett Crochet in bullpen

Instead, the White Sox will need Crochet in the bullpen. Although they added Kendall Graveman to improve their depth, the expectation is that Craig Kimbrel will be traded at some point when the lockout ends. This leaves the White Sox in the same place in the bullpen where they need another arm for the latter innings.

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Crochet showed that he can be that piece. Although he has not appeared in the minors, he has proven more than capable of a high leverage spot in the White Sox bullpen, posting a 2.54 ERA and a 1.193 WHiP in his 60.1 career innings, striking out 73 batters with 23 walks. While he could stand to improve his command, that performance is certainly good enough to allow Crochet to remain in his role.

This may also be a way to ease him into a future role as well. Liam Hendriks has broken out as one of the dominant closers in the game, but he is also 33 years old and signed through 2023 with a team option for 2024. The White Sox may turn down that option to potentially save some money to keep their core intact.

That is where Crochet can step in. While he has not gotten an opportunity in the ninth inning yet, it would not be a surprise to see him get a look on days when Hendriks is not available. Getting that experience could allow Crochet to be the answer when Hendriks eventually departs, potentially giving Chicago a long term option to close out games.

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Garrett Crochet needs to stay right where he is now. Instead of being a starter, he could be the Chicago White Sox closer of the future.