Home News Nick Nastrini back in latest rotation shuffle

Nick Nastrini back in latest rotation shuffle

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TORONTO — Manager Pedro Grifol looked at the Chicago White Sox rotation slot that opened Monday as an “opportunity time” for pitchers and the organization.

“This is an opportunity for you to pitch your ass off, get a chance,” Grifol said Monday — the day the Sox designated Brad Keller for assignment to create the opening. “I always tell our guys, opportunity meets preparation at some point. Prepare yourself for when you get that opportunity.

“It might be once. One inning or two, but that one inning can get you a second inning. One start might get you a second start and get you a third. A lot of great careers have started off with that one inning.”

The opportunity came for Nick Nastrini on Wednesday, as he was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to start the series finale against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

The right-hander went 0-2 with a 7.88 ERA and eight strikeouts in two starts earlier this season with the Sox.

“I liked the fact that he competes, he doesn’t let the stage get to him,” Grifol said before Wednesday’s game. “He pitched at home (April 15 against Kansas City), had a good start (two runs in five innings). And then he pitched in Philadelphia, which is not an easy place to pitch. He gave up some runs (six in three-plus innings), didn’t have his fastball, still competed.

“Was able to get out of there with an OK start, not great, but I’ve seen a lot of guys fold in that situation. And he didn’t, he just kept pounding the strike zone with offspeed pitches. He found ways to get some outs.”

Grifol isn’t anticipating this is a “one start and go back down” situation for Nastrini.

There’s been some shuffling as of late in the rotation.

Keller had moved into the slot previously held by Michael Soroka, who the Sox shifted to the bullpen. Soroka was solid in his first relief outing Saturday against the New York Yankees, allowing two hits and striking out a season-high seven in four scoreless innings at Yankee Stadium.

Grifol said Soroka remains a reliever in part because the Sox want to give pitchers like Nastrini some experience.

“(Also), Soroka did a really good job out of the bullpen the other day and putting him back in the rotation is not something we want to entertain right now,” Grifol said. “We want him to work out of the ’pen, come in and feel that ability to air it out and see how far you can go.”

Two pitchers — Garrett Crochet and Erick Fedde — have made double-digit starts for the Sox this season. Crochet dazzled in his team-leading 11th start Tuesday, allowing two hits in six innings in a 5-0 victory. Fedde, who has 10 starts, has been consistent.

“Fedde and Crochet, those guys have been workhorses for us,” Grifol said. “It’s tough with Crochet, because this is his first time starting (after three seasons as a reliever). But they’ve been workhorses and they give us the innings when we need them.”

In terms of number of starts, Soroka is next on the list with nine. Chris Flexen, who had a brief stint in the bullpen before moving back into the rotation, has made eight starts.



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