Crochet focused on results over velocity

June 9th, 2021

CHICAGO -- was a hard-throwing revelation when the White Sox called up their top pick in the 2020 Draft to pitch for the playoff-bound squad last season.

In fact, Crochet ranked second in baseball in terms of pitches thrown at 100 mph or above and hit that mark while only pitching six innings over five appearances. Those 100 mph offerings aren’t quite as prevalent for the southpaw in 2021, although the questions about his velocity certainly are as frequent. But with Crochet riding a 13-inning scoreless streak over his last 12 games, that 100 mph barrier is not a major concern.

“Yeah, I mean, I wouldn’t say it was a tough bar to set,” Crochet told of his 45 pitches at 100 mph or above, per Statcast, during his debut. “I had seven or so months to build up, whereas this year there was a lot shorter of an offseason.

“I definitely hope that it comes back, but if it doesn’t, I’m going to keep pitching the way I am right now. ... I still feel like I’m throwing the ball hard and I feel like when I have the right mentality and I’m attacking the zone, the ball might still look 100 at times. Just keep competing regardless what the velo board says.”

Crochet’s four-seam fastball topped out at 99 mph during his scoreless inning in a 6-1 White Sox victory Tuesday night over the Blue Jays. He has allowed one earned run over 24 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts and 11 walks during his career.

Six of his last seven appearances have come in the eighth or ninth inning, but Crochet still is trying to figure out his specific role.

“We have so many guys out there who can really go in at any situation,” Crochet said. “They have all proven that throughout the year. Just trying to be ready any time I could possibly go in the game. So pretty much ready at all times, I would say.

“It’s very exciting. I mean, obviously I never played that many games in college and didn’t have the chance to do it in the Minors. To be able to get that opportunity now is awesome. I love coming to the field every day, especially with the way we are playing right now. The clubhouse is a really fun place to be so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season.”

White Sox going full capacity

The White Sox will fully open with 100 percent capacity at Guaranteed Rate Field beginning June 25 against the Mariners with a 7:10 p.m. CT first pitch. The team made that announcement during pregame Wednesday, following approvals from Illinois and Chicago and in accordance with phase 5 planning.

Single game tickets to the remainder of White Sox home games at Guaranteed Rate Field go on sale to the general public at noon on June 15 on only. Tailgating at Guaranteed Rate Field also will return on June 25.

Crowds already have been boisterous and supportive for the 2021 White Sox, who entered Wednesday’s contest with the biggest lead of any first-place team.

“The bleacher people are having a lot of fun with the game," said White Sox chief revenue and marketing officer Brooks Boyer. "I just think people are excited to be back in the ballpark. As long as everyone is safe, people are having fun. That’s what it’s all about. Having fun at the ballpark.”

“I’ve never really played in front of that many fans before,” Crochet said. “So having everybody here and on our side is pretty cool.”

Third to first

• Carlos Rodón has struck out eight-plus batters in eight of his 10 starts this season. He recorded at least eight strikeouts in 19 games from 2015-20.

• Four of Andrew Vaughn’s five home runs have come at home and against left-handed pitchers.

They Said It

“I haven’t been able to take my eyes away. They’re doing some pretty awesome stuff down there and I think coach [Tony] Vitello deserves all of it -- all the credit that is. Just really cool to watch and see where he’s taken that program.” -- Crochet on the Tennessee baseball program, where he pitched last season, advancing to the Super Regional