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Let's make Crochet a starter?


vilehoopster
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I listen to the Chuck Garfien podcasts, and in a couple of his last few podcasts, he's mentioned that Crochet could really be a big addition to the bullpen when he returns. The problem is that, for me, I don't want him to return to the bullpen. When he gets back and recovered from surgery. I would really like the Sox to bite the bullet and invest the time in sending him to the minors and work on him becoming a starter. I guess my logic on this is that they spent such a high draft choice on him, it seems that he would be much more likely to justify that high selection as a starter than as a reliever. 

I see the problems with doing this. 1) That's a lot of time pitching in the minors stretching him out to be a starter. (I really don't know but I think I remember people here implying it's a year and a half in the minors). That's a year and a half he's not in the bullpen.   2) And that's the other problem, the only two lefties in the Sox pen are Bummer and Tanner Banks. So I can see why the Sox would want him in the bullpen as soon as possible. 

I think the Sox have to start thinking about the future of their starting rotation. Giolito will probably be gone after next year. How much longer for Lynn? And, again, I just think he would be more valuable to the Sox as a starter. 

I think I remember reading that Crochet wants to be a starter. Is that still true? Would he be willing to spend time in the minors to build up and become a starter. 

Please, there are many on here who know more on this topic than I do. Help me out. Is this a good idea? Would it  or could it work?

 

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Strengthening and stretching his arm out is 1 thing…but he would also have to develop a consistent 3rd pitch at the same time. He’s been pretty much a 2 pitch pitcher since college. Not saying it would be an impossible task, but just saying that I don’t think endurance is his only hurdle. 

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Unless he wants to spend a few years in the minors building up innings and working on his pitch repertoire, that ship has sailed.  At least in this org.  The Sox have pretty well bungled any chance for his to be a starter in the near future. 

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Yeah, it's unlikely. That said, necessity is the mother of invention. The Sox are so short in starter depth that there are going to be a bunch of spot starts/bullpen days.  Even if they stay relatively healthy, Davis Martin is in line to make 10+ starts.  If he makes the team, I think they would give a couple of short starts to Avila.  I could see Crochet getting Kopech ala 2021 4 and 5 inning starts. Who else is gonna take the starts?  Stiever?  Bilous?  Burke?  On the Sox site, they're talking up Dominguez.  I mean, at this point never say never about anyone.

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If I were in charge of this team, I would absolutely be trying to turn him into a starter, because it’s worth the effort.

I looked back at “guys who had TJS, what did they do if they came back 14 or 15 months later” and the results were terrible. A majority of guys were effectively useless, the last time someone had TJS in spring training and came back for a decent second half was Rafael Montero in 2019. Despite a couple dozen guys having TJS early in seasons since then, it’s very rare for guys to be even remotely useful the next year. If guys are useful, it’s once they heal fully after 14 or 15 months then take a full offseason to get into shape, so 20 months or more after the surgery. Many guys come back sooner than that and then struggle with other injuries during that first year, probably because they haven’t had a chance to get their whole body into pitching shape and get the feel back for everything.

Given that, if I were in charge, i would take my time with him. When he is ready to come back I would send him to the minors, and burn an option after his rehab stint ends. Maybe even BHam rather than Charlotte. I’d get him on a starter schedule and maybe start with 2-3 innings a game, maybe get to 5 innings on starts by September. If he’s healthy enough, get to 50 or 60 innings total, and use the fact that it’s the minors to reduce the stress on his body. Then, he’s set up to maybe have a shot at throwing 110 or 120 next year - and I would absolutely think about starting him in Charlotte and burning another minor league option to do it. 

What do I expect the White Sox to do? Especially without Hendriks, they will rush him back to the bullpen as fast as possible and hope for the best. That will leave him in the bullpen permanently because he won’t even start building up innings this year, especially if some other injury or soreness crops up, which is very typical for guys less than 2 years from TJS. I fully expect people to say “how can we have this many injuries no one could have foreseen this we are snakebit again” when he sprains an ankle or something.

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10 hours ago, Balta1701 said:

If I were in charge of this team, I would absolutely be trying to turn him into a starter, because it’s worth the effort.

I looked back at “guys who had TJS, what did they do if they came back 14 or 15 months later” and the results were terrible. A majority of guys were effectively useless, the last time someone had TJS in spring training and came back for a decent second half was Rafael Montero in 2019. Despite a couple dozen guys having TJS early in seasons since then, it’s very rare for guys to be even remotely useful the next year. If guys are useful, it’s once they heal fully after 14 or 15 months then take a full offseason to get into shape, so 20 months or more after the surgery. Many guys come back sooner than that and then struggle with other injuries during that first year, probably because they haven’t had a chance to get their whole body into pitching shape and get the feel back for everything.

Given that, if I were in charge, i would take my time with him. When he is ready to come back I would send him to the minors, and burn an option after his rehab stint ends. Maybe even BHam rather than Charlotte. I’d get him on a starter schedule and maybe start with 2-3 innings a game, maybe get to 5 innings on starts by September. If he’s healthy enough, get to 50 or 60 innings total, and use the fact that it’s the minors to reduce the stress on his body. Then, he’s set up to maybe have a shot at throwing 110 or 120 next year - and I would absolutely think about starting him in Charlotte and burning another minor league option to do it. 

What do I expect the White Sox to do? Especially without Hendriks, they will rush him back to the bullpen as fast as possible and hope for the best. That will leave him in the bullpen permanently because he won’t even start building up innings this year, especially if some other injury or soreness crops up, which is very typical for guys less than 2 years from TJS. I fully expect people to say “how can we have this many injuries no one could have foreseen this we are snakebit again” when he sprains an ankle or something.

While all of that sounds well and good…it is a bit disingenuous to not acknowledge the high risk factor of turning a 24 year old into a starter from essentially scratch. He had all of 12 starts across 3 years in college and 0 as a professional. Fact is that he IS a reliever that can MAYBE start. Can he be affective sitting at 94-96 rather than blowing people away at 99-100? Can his changeup develop into a reliable and consistent 3rd pitch? Not saying he can’t do those things, but it for sure is a risk that is going to take a year and a half + to find out. 

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40 minutes ago, TheFutureIsNear said:

While all of that sounds well and good…it is a bit disingenuous to not acknowledge the high risk factor of turning a 24 year old into a starter from essentially scratch. He had all of 12 starts across 3 years in college and 0 as a professional. Fact is that he IS a reliever that can MAYBE start. Can he be affective sitting at 94-96 rather than blowing people away at 99-100? Can his changeup develop into a reliable and consistent 3rd pitch? Not saying he can’t do those things, but it for sure is a risk that is going to take a year and a half + to find out. 

Worth noting that pre injury he spent 2021 throwing a 96.8 mph average fastball, so he wasn’t blowing people away throwing 100.

If we want him to develop a third pitch, we have to put him on a path where he could. When the White Sox put him back in the bullpen that will make the decision for him, and that doesn’t mean he couldn’t - it means the White Sox were too desperate for arms.

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For every person that says "no" or "it's not possible" I'd just like them to explain to me Spencer Strider. 

Top innings was 51ip in college, did 94ip in the minors, and then converted from long man to starter and was very impactful for the Braves at 131ip. He has two pitches. He throws 95% fastball/slider. Now the slider is one of the best pitches in the MLB... 

 

However, for all naysayers, take your best crack at explaining Strider. To me, there's too many people in this world who are too comfortable saying "can't". 

 

Now, that said, without Hendriks I think it's much tougher. 

i think the sox were/are grooming Lopez for the closers role. Because of that they would like to keep him out of the spotlight to get him on a reasonable extension. without hendriks i think they'll now have to lean on crochet and graveman, kelly a lot more to keep lopez out of the closer spot as to not drive up his price. But before that injury I was all on board getting Crochet 80-100ip and letting him rev up into the end of the season when we need him the most. 

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4 hours ago, PolishPrince34 said:

That ship has sailed. He’s 100% a reliever. Crotchet has never thrown over 70 innings in a season. 

And yet the Sox brillant FO decided to use the 11th pick in the draft on this dude. I get taking a high school arm at that slot but a college guy with innings buildup was a bad idea. 

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20 minutes ago, LittleHurtCG said:

And yet the Sox brillant FO decided to use the 11th pick in the draft on this dude. I get taking a high school arm at that slot but a college guy with innings buildup was a bad idea. 

As far as I'm concerned, it's better than spending pick #13 on Courtney Hawkins, and he supposedly fits the profile of what you are supposed to draft. I just want them to get guys that help them win, no matter what the position. And relievers are pretty valuable these days. Much more than car salesmen.

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3 hours ago, he gone. said:

For every person that says "no" or "it's not possible" I'd just like them to explain to me Spencer Strider. 

Top innings was 51ip in college, did 94ip in the minors, and then converted from long man to starter and was very impactful for the Braves at 131ip. He has two pitches. He throws 95% fastball/slider. Now the slider is one of the best pitches in the MLB... 

However, for all naysayers, take your best crack at explaining Strider. To me, there's too many people in this world who are too comfortable saying "can't".  

Crochet hasn't started a game since 2019. Crochet is coming off TJS. Those two facts make his situation very different from Strider.

If the Sox wanted to develop him as a starter, it would probably take 2 full years in the minors.

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