While there's no timetable for when baseball may resume, Michael Kopech will begin the year in the Minors when it does. The White Sox optioned their third-ranked prospect to Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday. Kopech, who had Tommy John surgery in 2018, made one Spring Training start on March 10 before the
While there's no timetable for when baseball may resume, Michael Kopech will begin the year in the Minors when it does.
The White Sox optioned their third-ranked prospect to Triple-A Charlotte on Thursday. Kopech, who had Tommy John surgery in 2018, made one Spring Training start on March 10 before the season was halted due to COVID-19 concerns.
MLB.com's No. 20 overall prospect missed all of the 2019 season after making his Major League debut in August 2018. Kopech made four starts -- logging 14 1/3 innings -- before undergoing surgery just one month after reaching The Show.
After a lengthy rehab process, he was poised to see some Cactus League action this spring prior to the suspension of exhibition play. In his lone appearance, the No. 4 right-handed pitching prospect notched a strikeout in a scoreless inning of work and his 80-grade fastball touched 100 mph on the radar gun.
In his last stint with Charlotte in 2018, Kopech posted a 7-7 record with a 3.70 ERA over 24 games. He held International League hitters to a .217 average and recorded 170 strikeouts and 60 walks over 126 1/3 innings.
The White Sox were expected to limit the 23-year-old's workload early in the year. With the rotation set at the Major League level, Chicago had some flexibility on where to place him. They'll exercise caution with Kopech, especially because he has yet to log more than 135 innings in a season as a pro. His career high came in 2017, at 134 1/3 innings.
Still, optimism remains regarding Kopech's capabilities. In addition to the fastball, he boasts a plus slider and two other solid options in his changeup and curveball. If he stays healthy, the White Sox anticipate Kopech being a key component in their 2020 gameplan.
Indians reassign Karinchak, three others
In other American League Central news, Cleveland also made some roster changes, optioning three right-handers -- James Karinchak, the club's No. 14 prospect, Aaron Civale and Zach Plesac -- along with outfielder Bradley Zimmer to Triple-A Columbus. All four players are on the Indians' 40-man roster.
Katie Woo is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiejwoo.