Erick Fedde sharp again in White Sox’ latest disheartening loss

DETROIT — For all the talk about center fielder Luis Robert Jr. and left-hander Garrett Crochet as general manager Chris Getz’s top trade chips, right-hander Erick Fedde should be lumped into a White Sox “big three” of players on the block.

Fedde (5-2) has been good and steady all season, and he tossed seven innings of two-run ball in the Sox’ 2-1 loss to the Tigers on Friday, lowering his ERA to 3.05, 11th in the American League. At 3.4 wins above replacement, according to Baseball Reference, Fedde ranked fourth in the majors, a shade above Crochet (3.2).

Signed for two years and $15 million after his stellar 2023 performance in South Korea, Fedde could bring a nice return of prospects from a contending team that would get a season and a half of his services.

“Till that day comes, we all know we’re White Sox,” Fedde said after he threw 92 pitches, retiring the last 14 batters he faced after allowing five hits and one walk. “And that comes first. Every day I show up to the ballpark playing for these guys, and I want to give us a chance to win games. I don’t want to be embarrassed. I have pride in my job. That’s what matters.”

Erick Fedde

— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) June 22, 2024

The Sox, who lost for the 27th time in their last 33 games, dropped to an embarrassing 20-57.

Fedde struck out three. He allowed a two-run home run to catcher Carson Kelly after shaking off Korey Lee and leaving a sweeper up in the zone.

Tommy Pham, another Getz trade chip, broke Jack Flaherty’s scoreless streak at 20⅔ innings with a homer in the fifth inning.

DeJong doubled off

After getting grazed by a pitch with one out in the ninth inning and waiting through a review, Paul DeJong — another of the Sox’ trade chips — lost track of the outs and was easily doubled off first on pinch hitter Andrew Benintendi’s flyout to center fielder Matt Vierling to end the game.

“Mental lapse there,” DeJong said. “Worried about getting on base and didn’t keep track of it. Totally on me and cost us the game. Feels pretty bad. Just try to do better next time; that’s all I can say.”

Asked about the play, manager Pedro Grifol asked a reporter if DeJong had talked to reporters about it.

“I leave those answers to those guys,’’ Grifol said. “They’re professionals. DeJong plays the game hard every day. If he said he had a mental lapse, that’s part of it. We’re all human.”

DeJong said he was “emotionally invested in the review that maybe took me out of the rhythm of the game, but I have to do better to check in once the game gets going again.”

“Paulie has been working his butt off all year; he’s been great,” Fedde said. “You play 162 games; sometimes you have brain farts. We’ve all been there. It’s not something to jump on him for.”

Paul DeJong

— Daryl Van Schouwen (@CST_soxvan) June 22, 2024

Robert at DH

Robert was the designated hitter Friday, will play center field Saturday and is slated for a day off Sunday as part of the plan to ease him back after he returned from a hip flexor strain on June 4.

“Then we can ride him out for a bit,” Grifol said. “It’s been a good plan. He’s feeling pretty good.”

Oscar Colas, primarily a right fielder, got the nod in Comerica Park’s spacious center field over Pham, who played left while Benintendi was rested.

“I want to see what he looks like,” said Grifol, who wants to see Colas play some first base, too. “We do have to see some things.” 

Sox minor-league pitcher suspended

Sox prospect Christian Edwards was suspended for 80 games by Major League Baseball after a positive test for the performance-enhancing substance Boldenone under the minor-league drug program. Edwards, 25, was an 11th-round draft pick in 2021. He was 2-1 with a 4.02 ERA in 17 relief appearances for Low-A Kannapolis this season.

He missed the 2023 season because of right shoulder inflammation.

Edwards was the fifth player disciplined this year under the minor-league program.

“While we were disappointed to learn of the discipline, we are fully supportive of MLB’s policies to deter the use of performance-enhancing drugs,” the Sox said in a statement.

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