MISSOULA — Missoula native Codi Heuer has looked more like a veteran than a rookie who's been in the majors for less than a month, especially when he's had to rebound from his first few challenging moments with the Chicago White Sox.
The 24-year-old righty has had three perfect appearances out of the bullpen, one hitless outing and allowed at least one run twice in six trips to the mound. He's pitched with the lead once and the game tied once, and he hasn't allowed a game-tying or go-ahead run in those opportunities. When he's surrendered a run, he's bounced back each time by quickly getting out of the inning and putting together a scoreless appearance the next time he took the field.
In 7.1 innings, Heuer has allowed six hits and three runs while showing his command by striking out nine compared to one walk. He's collected one save, has a 3.68 ERA and 0.95 WHIP, and is limiting the opposition to a .214 batting average.
Heuer, a former Great Falls Voyagers pitcher, has impressed with a fastball that has some movement and has routinely hit 99 mph. He's appeared composed and unfazed with the ball in his hand, mixing in an occasional change-up or slider.
"Just one of the great young arms out of the Sox 'pen," White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone said about Heuer, a 2018 sixth-round draft pick, during Saturday's game.
Heuer threw a scoreless third inning Saturday during an early relief appearance in the second game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals. It would've been his fourth perfect outing if not for a two-out throwing error by third baseman Yoan Moncada one batter after he got the third looking strikeout of his career. Heuer walked the next batter, the first walk he's surrendered in the majors, but got out of the inning unscathed in a 0-0 tie.
That outing came after a Monday appearance in which Heuer gave up multiple runs for the first time in his career. Both runs he allowed came on an inside-the-park home run by the Detroit Tigers when center fielder Adam Engel made a head-first diving attempt on a two-out line drive and missed the ball, which rolled all the way to the 420-foot outfield wall, putting the Sox in a 5-1 deficit.
Heuer pulled off a similar rebound Aug. 5, pitching two full innings for the first time in his career and retiring all six batters he faced with the Sox trailing the Milwaukee Brewers 1-0. That came days after an Aug. 1 appearance in which he pitched 1.1 innings and allowed the first hit and run of his career but still got the save against the Kansas City Royals in his third career outing.
Heuer, who made his MLB debut July 24, began his career by retiring the first nine batters he faced. He had a quick rise through the minor leagues after playing three seasons at Wichita State. He grew up in Missoula, played Little League baseball in the Garden City and moved to Colorado prior to high school.