White Sox shut down Santos for rest of year, activate Crochet before 13-3 loss to Nats

It was one loss followed by yet another for the White Sox on Wednesday.

At least there was a win of sorts.

Before being trounced by the Nationals 13-3 in Washington, dropping their record to 58-95, the Sox placed relief pitcher Gregory Santos on the 15-day injured list.

Bothered by right elbow inflammation, Santos' season is over.

Left-handed reliever Garrett Crochet takes his spot. Out since June 17 with throwing shoulder inflammation, Crochet has a chance to get an early start on preparing for next year.

When healthy, Santos showed he was capable of closing in place of Liam Hendriks, who came back from Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in late May and wound up having season-ending Tommy John surgery in early August.

In 60 games, Santos was 2-2 with a 3.39 ERA, 5 saves and 66 strikeouts in 66⅓ innings.

"He's had a good year," manager Pedro Grifol told reporters. "We'll just err on the side of caution and shut him down for the rest of the year and let the doctors continue to evaluate him. The reports I got is there's some discomfort in the right elbow. He's going to get evaluated and we'll take it from there."

A rookie, Santos will probably be best remembered for coming out of the bullpen in the ninth inning to close out an Aug. 16 game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Holding a 3-1 lead, Santos gave up a game-winning 3-run homer to Christopher Morel.

"That was a big game," Grifol said. "That's a game we had in the bag, 3-0 in the eighth inning, 3-1 going into the ninth and (Santos) walked off that field and a couple days later he got a five-out save in Colorado. That was pretty impressive, just to watch a young kid, really this is his first full year in the big leagues.

"You learn a lot about people and players and it seems to me like he's got a real short-term memory when it comes to that stuff. To watch him grow as much as he's grown this year, it's been pretty impressive."

Crochet made a big impression when he joined the White Sox's bullpen in 2020, three months after he was drafted in the first round.

Staying healthy has been a big issue.

In addition to the shoulder injury this year, Crochet missed all of last season recovering from Tommy John surgery and he dealt with a back strain in 2021.

When he's right, Crochet is a power arm out of the bullpen. In 69 career games with the Sox, the 24-year-old reliever is 3-6 with a 2.69 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 70⅓ innings.

In Wednesday's loss to the Nationals, Michael Kopech served as the opener and gave up 1 run in 1 inning.

Jesse Scholtens allowed 6 runs in 2 innings, including a grand slam to Lane Thomas.

Gavin Sheets had 2 RBI for the White Sox.

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