3:48pm: The White Sox announced that Jimenez exited with right foot discomfort. The news looks worse for Crochet, who left with forearm tightness.
3:20pm: White Sox outfielder Eloy Jimenez and left-hander Garrett Crochet exited early in the team’s make-or-break Game 3 against the Athletics on Thursday. It’s not yet clear why they departed.
Jimenez led off the third inning with a double before walking off with a trainer. It’s worth noting Jimenez missed time late in the season with a mid-foot sprain. If the White Sox advance, they’ll need him back in their lineup, as the 23-year-old turned in a brilliant second season with a .296/.332/.559 line and 14 home runs in 226 plate appearances.
Crochet, meanwhile, departed in the second inning after striking out both batters he faced. He was throwing in the 96 to 97 mph range, and his fastest pitch clocked in at 98.9, per Scott Merkin of MLB.com. Just about any pitcher would be pleased with that type of velocity, but it’s a notable step down for Crochet, who averaged 100.2 mph on his fastball during his brief regular season. The 21-year-old threw 85 pitches in the season after debuting a couple weeks ago, and 69 of them came in above 98.9 mph, per Sarah Langs of MLB.com (via Merkin).
Crochet, whom the White Sox chose 11th overall in this year’s draft, quickly reached the majors and, thanks in part to his all-world velocity, made a major impact for the White Sox. He ended the season with six shutout innings of three-hit ball across five appearances, in which he totaled eight strikeouts and didn’t walk a batter. He clearly looks like another young star for the up-and-coming White Sox to build around, so the hope is that Crochet didn’t suffer a serious injury in his playoff debut.