Fedde relishing early-season success on the South Side

May 14th, 2024

This story was excerpted from Scott Merkin’s White Sox Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

CHICAGO -- There were five or six Major League Baseball teams seriously bidding for ’s services this past offseason, according to the starting pitcher’s recollection.

With the right-hander having put together a strong body of work in his first eight starts with the 2024 White Sox, that number of teams interested should increase as the July 30 Trade Deadline approaches.

“Obviously, I’m happy to be playing well,” Fedde said. “No matter what, [general manager Chris] Getz and the White Sox took a big chance on me, and to play well is something I’m happy about. Hopefully, it shows how much work they put in on scouting me.

“I try not to think about it. It’s a long time until the Trade Deadline, and a lot of things can happen. I want to win games here for the White Sox. Whatever happens there, happens. If I’m a trade piece, so be it. Never really been anything like that, so it will be interesting.”

Fedde is scheduled to start Game 2 of Tuesday’s doubleheader against the Nationals, brought about by the postponement of Monday’s series opener due to inclement weather. He will follow Game 1 starter Chris Flexen, another White Sox trade candidate, and faces a Washington squad with whom Fedde posted a 5.41 ERA over 102 games (88 starts) from 2017-22.

This version of Fedde is far different from that previous model, with the Las Vegas native having reinvented himself during a dominant 2023 (20-6, 2.00 ERA, 209 strikeouts in 180 1/3 innings) season with NC Dinos in the KBO. Any questions as to whether Fedde’s success would carry over back to the United States were quickly answered by his 3.00 ERA and 44 strikeouts over 45 innings.

The White Sox remain in rebuild mode, meaning Getz will listen to offers for anyone and everyone. Fedde is working under a two-year, $15 million deal, with that extra year of control making him even more attractive. But Fedde isn’t contemplating the possibility of leaving a place where he enjoys playing.

“They have treated my family so well,” Fedde said. “I enjoy the guys in the clubhouse. I really have grown to love [pitching coach Ethan] Katz and Bani [senior advisor to pitching Brian Bannister] and what they are doing with me. I’m very happy here and would have no problem staying here, that’s for sure.

“I’ve had a 3.00 ERA plenty of times in May, but it’s one of those things where I feel great. I feel like I’m pitching well.”

According to Statcast, Fedde has incorporated primarily a four-pitch mix in 2024 with the sinker, cutter, split-finger, and the sweeper thrown 183 times. That selection differs from the sinker, curve, cutter, and changeup featured with the Nationals when he was last in the Majors in ’22.

This repertoire, refined and developed during his stint in Korea, gives Fedde better options against hitters from both sides of the plate and has given him more confidence as a pitcher.

“It was the plan,” Fedde said. “I wanted to be a top-of-the-rotation guy. I wanted to be someone they could lean on. I feel like I put in lots of hard work for my body to still feel great.

“Pitch selection, pitch quality is I feel like best it’s been. If I could bet on that, I will.”