The White Sox have optioned right-hander Michael Kopech to Triple-A Charlotte, the team announced. Whenever the season gets underway, he’ll open on the minor league side of things.
That’s long seemed like a formality. The 23-year-old Kopech is one of baseball’s premier pitching prospects but underwent Tommy John surgery late in 2018, shortly after making his big league debut. He returned to game activity during Cactus League play prior to MLB’s shutdown but worked just one inning. It was an impressive frame, as Kopech topped 100 mph regularly with his heater and set down all three hitters he faced — one via strikeout.
The White Sox will surely want to proceed slowly with Kopech as they build him back up to a starter’s workload. The rebuilt South Siders are aiming for a return to competitiveness in the AL Central beginning in 2020 — as evidenced by their winter additions of Yasmani Grandal, Dallas Keuchel, Edwin Encarnacion and Gio Gonzalez — but Kopech’s health is of greater importance on a long-term scale.
The 2020 rotation will be comprised primarily of Keuchel, Gonzalez, Lucas Giolito, Dylan Cease and a combination of Carlos Rodon (also rehabbing from Tommy John) and Reynaldo Lopez. But it’s hard for Sox fans not to dream on an eventual rotation that includes healthy versions of Giolito, Kopech and Cease leading what could be one of the game’s more talented collections of arms. Of course, that assumes both Cease and Kopech make good on their lofty prospect rankings, and as highlighted by Lopez’s own struggles to date, there are no such guarantees. Still, it’s only logical to see Kopech head to Charlotte for a bit as he ramps back up in a more controlled setting.
Not a shocker.
Hoping the White Sox devalue him
He really needs an organization change.
Too good of an arm.
He’s going no where
Yeah… that’s gonna happen. Let’s take the #1/#2 from a dynasty b4 it gets rolling.
With the pitching depth the Sox got now got to like their chances in a short season. If we have one. Kopech is ace in the making if he can control his fastball and develop more secondary pitches.
woudlnt the opposite make more sense? deeper rosters tend to stand strong over the full 162. a shorter season makes depth less important id anything.
If there are a bunch of double headers, depth will be very important.
I was thinking of injuries teams can have even in a short season. They got starting pitching depth and position player depth just in case of injuries. The White Sox could be the team that gets hot in the short season and go deep in postseason.
Like most young pitchers…control their fastballs and develop more secondary pitches:)
I’m sure Giolito can take him under his wing help him with control. Both Giolito and Keuchel can help the young pitchers with control issues. Could be a very good team if they live up to prospects status.
Isn’t that Coopers job to do
In some cases it’s better the teammates help other teammates since they have a better understanding what’s going on. Cooper probably just need to retire Giolito improvement came from his high school coach not from Cooper. Cooper was decent in his early years but in my opinion it’s time him to move on. Give someone else a chance to coach.
What pitching depth? After giolito. Keuchel? Gonzalez? this move makes zero sense. He’s probably there 2nd best pitcher.
I know rest his arm, until when? August? with the shortened season they might be able to pitch him the whole year. Depends how many double headers there are and if they go into November . if I’m the twins and Indians this is a great move
Lopez, Cease, Rodon when he comes back from TJ, Dunning not too far off. Lopez and Cease had a bad last year but showed some improvements before ST got shutdown. Kopech probably won’t be in AAA very long just building up his pitch count.
Just because he got 3 scrubs out in a ST game doesn’t mean he’s ready to get thrown into the rotation.
Lol, you actually consider Gio Gonzalez and Keuchel ‘pitching depth’? Maybe for a sub .500 team. What has Cease done to make anyone feel that he’s ready to contribute.
They will get third in division. Hahn has no clue.
Hahn is an idiot. Hire him
Wonder if this has any affect on service time by sending him down. He’s basically racked up almost two years by now on the major league IL, wonder how this all gets settled once the league gets back underway
I’m wondering that also. I’m curious if the season’s arbitration clock starts when OD actually will start (ex. June 15) or if it starts today, when OD should’ve started.
If the clock starts today, it’s a very smart move by the Sox. Kopech is 41 days past the 1 year mark, which if OD started today, 41 days falls on May 5. Say the season starts June 1, by the time he makes it back up, he’s past the deadline and becomes Super 2, and the Sox just gained another year of control over him.
This could be a huge move for the Sox depending on which way this is interpreted. I have a feeling the arbitration clock will start when the OD games actually start, so it’s just wishful thinking on my part.
Nevermind, I skimmed the article the first time and now, after reading the first paragraph again more closely, there’s my answer…wishful thinking on my part.
Yes it would effect service time.
I understand this and knew it was coming, but I would like to see them turn him loose. If he is up in the 3-4 weeks, then it’s fine, otherwise, I think it’s a mistake. He showed prior to TJS that he had figured out his command and could get major league hitters out. Other than to show that he is back from the surgery (which I feel like he could do prior to the start of the season), I don’t think he has anything left to prove.
Nobody wants “winter” baseball. They should just cancel the season so all stakeholders can focus on keeping themselves and their families healthy.
They won’t cancel the season unless forced to. America will need things to rally around once this isn’t a dire threat to the country, and baseball is one of those things to rally around. Now if the threat’s still this bad come July 1, then they might as well cancel the season, but it’s way too early to consider it now.
That being said, I do agree with your priorities. As much as I like baseball, there are far more important things in life.
Not if you listen to the liar in chief.
Sadly, I can’t argue that. Good point.
Because having “winter baseball” means the players and their families will not be safe???
Very strict innings limit I’d assume, since he hasn’t pitched since 2018.
Absolutely. It just won’t be as noticeable with the late start to the season (whenever that is).
Could be a very impressive starting pitching rotation one move I would have liked to see was the Sox picking up selling betances
Picking up dellin betances. Auto correct sucks
Rey Rey Lopez is the best PITCHER on the staff. He has an impressive skillset. He could blossom under the right field management. Unfortunately and predictably for a Reinsdorf-run sports operation, the Sox don’t.
This is a good move. Hope Kopech dazzles in AAA and is ready for any call up if the opportunity arises.