The Chicago White Sox got an extended look at Luis Patiño in his debut with the team on Sept. 2.
Acquired in a trade deadline deal from the Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 1, the right-hander got called up on Sept. 1.
He pitched four relief innings the next day, allowing one earned run on five hits while striking out four and walking three against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Patiño has pitched at least three innings in three of his four relief outings with the Sox, including allowing one run on three hits with two strikeouts in three innings Sunday against the Minnesota Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field.
“To me, it’s important to show what I can do in the role, especially for them to know what I’m capable of doing here for next year,” Patiño told the Tribune through an interpreter before Monday’s game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park.
Starting pitching stood out for the Sox in Monday’s series opener, as Mike Clevinger went the distance in a 6-1 victory in front of 20,977. Clevinger allowed six hits and struck out seven with no walks. He allowed singles to the first two batters in the first and four more hits the rest of the game. Dominic Smith broke up the shutout with a two-out home run in the ninth and the benches briefly cleared after he rounded the bases.
Sox center fielder Luis Robert Jr. hit his 36th home run of the season, a three-run blast, in the fifth.
Every batter in the Sox starting lineup had at least one hit, with Tim Anderson collecting four singles as part of the team’s 15-hit effort.
While none were needed Monday, the Sox are evaluating several relief pitchers as possible options for 2024. That process has gone beyond the results.
“Sometimes it’s not about the outcome, it’s about how well they slow the game down,” manager Pedro Grifol said Monday. “How well they’re able to execute. How well they field their position, hold the runners on. It’s throwing them out there in that type of environment, that type of leverage so they can continue to grow from it.”
Patiño, Lane Ramsey, Deivi García and Sammy Peralta were among the relief pitchers in action during the last series against the Twins.
“The biggest thing that I’m learning right now is how important the execution of your pitches are,” Ramsey told the Tribune on Monday. “There’s times in the minor leagues where the vicinity of where you’re throwing the ball, for example if I want to throw a slider down and away, in the minor leagues you might be able to get away with it being up and away or middle-away and still get swings-and-misses. Here, it’s like no.
“You’ve got to know exactly where your pitches play and work your best to get those into those spots. For me, the biggest thing right now is focusing on the execution part of things.”
Ramsey has had his first big-league experiences this season, pitching anywhere from the sixth to the ninth inning since being called up Aug. 5. Prior to joining the Sox, Patiño appeared in 38 career games (22 starts) during parts of four major-league seasons with the San Diego Padres (2020) and the Rays (2021-23). He has a 3.27 ERA and 10 strikeouts with the Sox.
“People here have been very transparent with me about my role and I’ve been able to go out there and pitch multiple innings and I just try to focus and take advantage of every opportunity,” Patiño said. “I’ve learned a lot throughout this year, throughout my time in Tampa and now here.”
Grifol remembers some of the buzz associated with Patiño as a prospect in San Diego’s system, where he was ranked the No. 2 prospect in that organization by Baseball America in 2019.
“I’m glad we have him,” Grifol said. “There’s some things our pitching guys are working with him on while he competes up here and has an opportunity to be a part of this thing moving forward. The good thing about him is he’s really young (23).”
The learning and evaluation will continue during the final two weeks of the season.
“This is a really good opportunity these guys are getting right now,” Grifol said. “And eventually they’ll settle into where they’re going to fit if they make our team next year.
“I’m just looking to see how they take on these leverage roles we’re throwing them into and some of the things we’re asking them to do, too. Just slowing the game down is really important to us right now.”
Bullpen session lined up for Garrett Crochet
Reliever Garrett Crochet has a possible bullpen session with the Sox on Tuesday at Nationals Park as he works his way back from left shoulder inflammation. He struck out the side during his most recent rehab assignment outing for Triple-A Charlotte against Nashville on Sunday.
The left-hander has been on the injured list since June 17.
“We’ll evaluate (the bullpen session) and see where he’s at,” Grifol said. “There’s a possibility he can make an appearance (with the Sox). But we’ve got to wait until he throws another bullpen and see where we’re at.”