Michael Kopech headed to 15-day IL, but Chicago White Sox starter relieved knee sprain not more serious – Reading Eagle

Michael Kopech was visited by the Chicago White Sox training camp as he warmed up before the bottom of the first inning Monday against the Kansas City Royals.

Kopech faced four batters — allowed a walk, hit a batter, gave up an RBI single and another walk — before leaving with pain in left knee.

The Sox placed the right-hander on the 15-day injured list with a sprained left knee before Tuesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.

Kopech was relieved when he heard the results of the assessment.

“Because if it was serious, I could miss the rest of the season,” he said. “I’m very lucky that it’s not like that and I have a chance to come back and continue to perform and help the team win. Going to IL isn’t ideal, but knowing that I can come back and maybe make a bigger push at the end is good for me.”

On his struggles before Monday’s game, Kopech said, “It’s one of those days where you can go out and do the same thing every time, getting ready to start, and something’s going to go wrong. Unfortunately, it was a bit more serious than just not being so. But I was hydrated, I was warmed up, just tweaked something.”

After spending most of last season in the bullpen, Kopech performed well in his return to the rotation this year, going 4-9 with a 3.58 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 23 starts.

In 2022, he allowed one hit or fewer over five-plus innings five times, including six innings of no hits against the Detroit Tigers Aug. 12 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

“It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time, to be a starting pitcher in the big leagues,” said Kopech, who missed all of 2019 while recovering from Tommy John surgery and sat out the pandemic-shortened 2020 season for personal reasons. . “For the most part, with a little extra rest here and there, I haven’t missed a start this year.

“I took a lot of pride in that, so it’s a shame I have to be in IL right now, but given that my workload has been a lot less over the last few years, I think what I’ve done I’m happy with. I’m glad I had the opportunity and I’m glad I gave the team a chance to win when I could.”

Kopech left the game against the Texas Rangers on June 12 after two-thirds of an inning with discomfort in the right knee and returned to start June 19 at Houston.

“There are times in the year where guys have to work through certain things, and it wasn’t anything major that I had to work through,” he said. “The discomfort I’ve managed the most.”

He has 110⅔ innings pitched after 69⅓ innings in 44 appearances (four starts) last season.

“I’m at a point where I’ve thrown a lot more than I threw last year,” Kopech said. “I don’t know if time off was inevitable, but it was definitely under consideration, so it’s probably good for me at the moment. Come back, be fresh and help with that last push.”

The Sox recalled left-hander Tanner Banks from Triple-A Charlotte in the corresponding move on Tuesday. Banks has a 3.16 ERA, one shutout and 36 strikeouts in 29 relief appearances with the Sox this season.

Sox manager Tony La Russa said Davis Martin is in line to take Kopech’s spot in the rotation. Martin, who most recently pitched Sunday for Charlotte, is 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA in eight appearances (four starts) with the Sox. He was called up for a random start.

“He’s done it before, so we’re lucky to have him,” La Russa said. “Since it’s Monday off, (the Sox) are thinking about where to actually put him.”

The Sox had to do a lot of shuffling, mostly with the starting lineup, as they dealt with injuries throughout the season. Now they will have to go a couple of weeks without Kopech in the rotation.

“It’s important for me to come back for myself,” Kopech said, “but it’s important for the team to have all the moving parts working together, especially as we try to push to the end.”

The release date for the White Sox-Guardians game has been announced.

The Sox will travel to Cleveland on Sept. 15 to complete the postponed Sunday game, the Guardians announced Tuesday. The game will begin at 12:10 p.m. at Progressive Field.

Sunday’s game was postponed due to unsuitable pitch conditions after rain fell in the Cleveland area for part of the morning.


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