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Chicago White Sox name 2 more rotation slots, with Michael Soroka and Erick Fedde following Garrett Crochet

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Michael Soroka feels he’s ready for the regular season.

It looked that way Wednesday.

The Chicago White Sox pitcher began the Cactus League game against the Cincinnati Reds by striking out Will Benson. Soroka started the second inning striking out Luke Maile looking. The trend continued in the third for the right-hander as he again struck out the first batter, Jacob Hurtubise.

Soroka allowed one unearned run on one hit while striking out five and walking one in four innings during the 3-1 victory at Camelback Ranch.

“Feel like I’m in a really good place,” Soroka said.

Soroka has his place in the rotation as he’s in line to make his regular-season debut with the Sox on March 30 against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field.

The Sox filled in rotation slots Wednesday, with Soroka scheduled to follow opening-day starter Garrett Crochet.

“He’s had a good camp,” manager Pedro Grifol said of Soroka before Wednesday’s game. “He came in motivated, he made some adjustments. He’s a good second-day starter.”

Erick Fedde will start the series finale against the Tigers. Grifol declined to go beyond that point Wednesday.

Crochet has been the most impressive pitcher in camp with nine scoreless innings and 12 strikeouts as he makes the move from the bullpen to the rotation.

Soroka, one of the players acquired in an offseason trade with the Atlanta Braves, also has impressed with a 1.38 ERA in four outings. He has a team-leading 17 strikeouts in 13 innings.

“I noticed when everything is loose and clean out front through release everything seems to move a ton more,” Soroka said. “It goes where I want and is usually a tick up too. It’s kind of just garnering feel for some things I’m going to need in season, some run-to-right changeups as well that we have to get to eventually. That really opens up to be able to throw a third time through the order.

“That’s going to be important because it’s one thing I always did well coming up was throw a ton of innings, and that’s something I look to do this year.”

Soroka called the Game 2 assignment “awesome.”

“It means I did what I wanted to do in camp, and that was come and attack and show I belong,” he said. “Where I was in the rotation wasn’t all that important to me, I just wanted to be out there and know they have a chance to win every time I take the mound. My job was to go out on pitch one and set the tone. I felt I did a decent of that.”

also was sharp in his most recent outing. The right-hander didn’t allow a hit in five-plus innings against Cleveland’s Triple-A club on a backfield Monday at Camelback Ranch.

Fedde has made three Cactus League starts, allowing five runs and 13 hits in nine innings. He has four strikeouts and has induced three double plays.

“The first couple (of outings) felt like I was overexcited, maybe doing a little too much but I’m starting to find my legs and ease in as much mentally as physically,” Fedde said Wednesday. “Feeling good, not overthrowing. But I feel like I’ve grown more in that sense than anything.”

Fedde signed a two-year deal with the Sox in December after earning MVP honors in the Korea Baseball Organization in 2023. He spent a portion of the offseason working out with Crochet, who will be making his first career start in the March 28 opener.

“I knew (the opening-day nod) was up for grabs (after the Dylan Cease trade) but it’s easy to say, now without Cease, that Crochet has the best stuff on the team,” Fedde said. “It’s evident, and the fact he got opening day is proof of that. I’m happy for him, he works his butt off, good friend. I’m thrilled for him. I think he’s the right choice.”

March 31 will mark Fedde’s first major-league start since Oct. 5, 2022, while with the Washington Nationals.

“I’m so excited,” Fedde said. “I know that first start is going to have some butterflies. When you leave to go overseas, the goal is to come back. And to realize it and have it — in a sense — a week away, it’s a great feeling.
“I’m fired up for it.”

Sox make 3 more roster cuts

The Sox made three roster moves Wednesday, optioning catcher Korey Lee to Triple-A Charlotte and reassigning pitchers Joe Barlow and Corey Knebel to minor-league camp. Barlow (shoulder) and Knebel (working his way back from a right shoulder surgery) were slowed this spring.

Lee has had a productive camp, hitting .333 (7-for-21) with three home runs and eight RBIs in 15 games.

With the moves, the Sox have 45 players remaining in camp: 25 pitchers, three catchers, eight infielders and nine outfielders.