Director of pitching Brian Bannister lauds left-handers in White Sox’ organization


PHOENIX — From Garrett Crochet to Jake Eder, White Sox director of pitching Brian Bannister is watching a dominant development with the left-handers in the organization.

‘‘I got the chance to work with [former Sox ace] Chris Sale,’’ Bannister said before the Sox beat the Diamondbacks 9-2 late Saturday behind home runs from Paul DeJong, Andrew Vaughn, Lenyn Sosa and Korey Lee and six solid innings from right-hander Erick Fedde (5-1). ‘‘I grew up around Randy Johnson. It’s a category that I think historically in baseball has performed very well. All of those guys have elite upside.

‘‘A lot of times, it’s harnessing their physical talent and turning it into command. . . . It can happen late in a career. It can happen after some early turmoil in their career. But when they figure it out and really understand who they are, the performance upside can be pretty incredible.’’

Bannister is thrilled about the breakout season of Crochet, who leads the American League with 116 strikeouts and has limited opponents to a .182 batting average.

‘‘He’s been able to climb into that No. 1 starter category,’’ said Bannister, who credited Crochet for leaning more on his cutter than his sweeper. ‘‘I think he’s outperformed probably not his expectations, but I think everyone else’s.’’

Top prospect Noah Schultz leads a potent group of lefties at Double-A Birmingham, where he has struck out 56 in 39 innings behind a sharp slider.

‘‘The kind of power lefty, power east-west lefty — however you want to describe it — Schultz is definitely in that category,’’ Bannister said.

Bannister said he and the minor-league staff think Eder might have had a breakthrough after striking out 10 and allowing only three hits in six innings Thursday.

‘‘I think we were able to do some things with his grips and his shapes and kind of the concepts that will allow him to grab a little more movement or be a little more consistent,’’ Bannister said.

Ky Bush has lived up to his billing with a 1.98 ERA and only three home runs allowed in 63‰ innings for the Barons.

‘‘He can spin the ball and throw multiple shapes,’’ Bannister said. ‘‘He’s just another lefty with velo, which you love to see. He just looks like a confident guy on the mound, and I think his numbers are reflective of that.’’

And Bannister wasn’t about to overlook right-hander Drew Thorpe, who made the leap from Double-A to the Sox.

‘‘The thing I like about him is his poise, the hidden arm action,’’ Bannister said. ‘‘When you have guys with hidden arm action, it tends to play above the velo.’’

Clevinger update

Right-hander Mike Clevinger (strained right elbow) is scheduled to make rehab starts at Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday and next Sunday before being activated from the 15-day injured list.

‘‘Hopefully this is the last one,’’ said Clevinger, who has been nagged by injuries.

Mum on Moncada

Manager Pedro Grifol said he has spoken a few times with third baseman Yoan Moncada, who has been sidelined since mid-April because of a strained flexor in his right hip. But Grifol didn’t indicate when Moncada might return.

‘‘He just wants to make sure — everybody wants to make sure — this thing is strong before he comes back,’’ Grifol said. ‘‘He was in some kind of pain when he went down. It was an unfortunate injury.’’





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