White Sox starter Garrett Crochet feeling good after first career start, likely to start Tuesday’s game

White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet couldn’t sleep after his strong Opening Day performance. He struck out eight batters, allowed one run, and issued no walks in the 1-0 loss to the Tigers.

Crochet threw 87 pitchers over six innings, a lot for a first-time starter but warranted given the type of day he was having on the mound. After games — wins or losses — Crochet said he stays awake, replaying the game countless times in his head or watching video of the game.

But with Crochet adjusting to life in the rotation, it was always going to be about the day after the start. The recovery was always going to be key for Crochet.

“I was able to get in here on the off day and take care of my business,” Crochet told the Sun-Times. “Now I’m just getting ready for Tuesday.”

Chris Flexen is the probable starter for Monday’s game against the Braves; Crochet is slated to pitch the second game. Crochet said he was able to hone in on his routine during spring training, mainly what to do on his off days.

“I like dry needling and doing mobility, hot tub and cold tub, that sort of thing,” Crochet said. “But really just resting it and doing the normal training room routine.”

Dry needling is an invasive technique to decrease muscle tightness and improve blood flow.

Crochet was the third left-hander in American League history to throw eight-plus strikeouts with no walks on Opening Day since 2002.

Mixing and matching

There’s a lot of room for lineup flexibility with this roster. Manager Pedro Grifol said that he believes the bench is talented and wants to get the players playing time regularly, not just to keep them warm.

He praised shortstop Braden Shewmake, the infielder acquired in the Aaron Bummer trade, who started Saturday’s game at shortstop, delivering two hits and an RBI. Shewmake’s spring performance resonated with Grifol.

“He played every facet of the game that needed to be played to help us win baseball games,” Grifol said. “He bunted, ran the bases and stole bases. We pushed him a little bit on that front to really be aggressive on the bases, and it played like that. He made contact and played everywhere on the infield. He’s only played second and short, but we played him at third and first and he looked really good.”

Shewmake stole six bases throughout spring training and 27 for the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A affiliate last season.

Grifol said it’s too early to know how often Shewmake would play, but he intends to use the bench depending on the matchups.

“I want to keep these guys sharp,” Grifol said of the bench hitters. “It’s not like, ‘OK, get their feet wet and then sit them.’ This is not going to be a little one-time thing just to get them in the game. That’s not part of the plan. The plan is to look for matchups, get these guys in, keep these guys sharp throughout the whole year, and let’s see where it ends up.’

This and that

The Charlotte Knights lost 6-5 to the Memphis Redbirds in Friday’s season opener.

• Outfielder Oscar Colas went 2-3 with a double.

• Shortstop prospect Colson Montgomery recorded his first Triple-A hit on an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning.

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