White Sox rookie Drew Thorpe roughed up in Diamondbacks’ rout


PHOENIX — As the White Sox continue their pitching auditions throughout the rest of the season, there’s bound to be more growing pains similar to those right-hander Drew Thorpe experienced Sunday.

Thorpe, who was making his second major-league start, will have plenty to assess after the Diamondbacks tagged him for eight runs in 3⅓ innings in the Sox’ 12-5 loss that concluded a 2-5 trip.

‘‘It’s a different animal up here,’’ Thorpe, 23, said after allowing six hits and five walks. ‘‘It’s good to get it out of the way, move on and get better for the next one.’’

Sox director of pitching Brian Bannister visited the Sox this weekend at Chase Field and watched rookie right-hander Jonathan Cannon, who will open the series Tuesday against the Astros, throw a bullpen session Saturday.

Bannister and other Sox officials have been pleased with the development and adjustments made by several of their top pitching prospects. But in the case of Thorpe, who allowed one earned run in five innings in his major-league debut last week in Seattle, the flaws were simple and fixable.

Thorpe struggled with command of his secondary pitches, specifically his changeup and slider. That made him more reliant on his fastball, which averaged 90.6 mph, according to Baseball Savant.

He generated only two swings-and-misses among his 60 pitches, of which only 32 were strikes.

‘‘I didn’t have my best command, obviously,’’ said Thorpe, who tentatively is scheduled to pitch again next weekend. ‘‘It’s pretty hard to work around it when you don’t have it with the stuff I have. I need to get better next time and flush this one.’’

Thorpe walked leadoff man Corbin Carroll on four pitches, leading to a three-run first, and another walk to Carroll loaded the bases in the fourth and eventually led to his removal.

‘‘He’s got to be able to pitch and command the strike zone,’’ manager Pedro Grifol said. ‘‘That’s going to be his bread-and-butter. That’s going to be how he performs at this level. If that’s a little off, then he’s going to have to make some adjustments. And if it’s way off . . . he’ll struggle a little bit.

‘‘He’s a good competitor, so you can’t overthink this one. You look at it, obviously. Our pitching guys are going to look at it and identify whatever they identify.’’

Thorpe, who is ranked 41st among the top 100 prospects by Baseball America, walked only 17 while striking out 56 in 60 innings at Double-A Birmingham before his promotion.

The Sox are also mindful that Thorpe has thrown only 199⅓ innings in the minors.

The Sox (19-54) lost for the 20th time in their last 24 games. A three-run ninth reduced the margin of defeat after the Diamondbacks scored six times in the fourth off Thorpe and Chad Kuhl.

Lenyn Sosa provided a ray of hope as the development process continues. He collected two more hits and is playing more relaxed while batting .340 (16-for-47) since returning from Triple-A Charlotte.

‘‘He’s not going to have success playing like he was before,’’ Grifol said before the game. ‘‘Just playing tight and not wanting to make mistakes and worried about making mistakes.

‘‘Part of development is allowing players to do their thing, and another big part is the players accepting instruction and constructive criticism, knowing that it’s coming from a good place.’’





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