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CHICAGO — Garrett Crochet looks at the recovery process after the Tommy John surgery he underwent before the start of the 2022 season as rehab, but also as a major reset.
Reset, i.e. relative to his future mound goals.
“I really believe there’s a silver lining to everything,” Hook told me at the end of the White Sox’s final homestand. “There are a lot of things I can work on right now, I’ve never really had time to do that.
“But as far as a potential role goes, I think it’s a good reset for me to be the starting pitcher that I wanted to be all along. Just like before, they kind of needed me in the bullpen. Now I feel like I’ve almost wiped the slate clean and have a new way to get through rehab.
Hook, who turned 23 on Tuesday, is missed by the White Sox. He would have been a high-leverage left-handed reliever in a well-used bullpen, and he would have maintained that hybrid reliever/starter role in which Michael Kopech served so well during the 2021 campaign.
Crochet’s rehab is split between Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona, and occasional trips to Chicago. He has just started carrying weight in his left arm up to 20 pounds, and as this work continues to go well, the weight will slowly increase. He works Monday through Saturday, lifting three days a week and mixing in three “pretty heavy physical therapy days.”
The launch window will begin in September.
“I feel good, progressing pretty much as planned,” Hook said. “Everything else is going well until my hamstring transplant. It’s healed well and I’m back to full lower body activity.
“That was probably the most uncomfortable part. All I had to do was not use my arm, but I couldn’t just not use my legs.”
Being away from the team was pretty awful, according to Hook, although he used a slightly more colorful word to describe it. But as he pointed out, that’s only part of the plan.
“I was very lucky to be part of the team initially, to now have something to miss,” Hook said. “It’s just where I’m at right now, taking the good with the bad. Just looking forward to getting back.
Crochet’s newbie mindset is to develop another pitch to go with a four-seam fastball in the 90s, a slider, and its less-used change. But this development of the pitch will attract more attention when he starts throwing. After pitching six innings after reaching the Majors in his draft year in 2020, then pitching 54 1/3 innings in 21, starting in 23 might not initially be expected as the White Sox rebuild Hook. But he’s all about rotation, watching how starters approach games while he’s out, and the White Sox have always believed in his starting potential.
“I feel like I was in a good place before I got hurt,” Hook said. “I don’t feel like I have to restart necessarily. I will be able to keep everything I was working on.