The Chicago White Sox had Michael Kopech back on the mound for one inning in his return from a big injury two seasons ago.
Pretty much everyone involved with the Chicago White Sox stopped what they were doing on Tuesday afternoon because Michael Kopech made his first start of Spring Training. It is his first appearance since going down with Tommy John surgery at the end of the 2018 season. He missed the rest of that year and all of 2019 but he is back. He started the game and only pitched for one inning but he impressed in that short amount of time.
Kopech hit 100 miles per hour or faster seven times in the inning. He retired the first two hitters by getting them to ground out to the second baseman. Then he got his first strikeout of the spring for the third out of the inning. That was the end of his first Spring Training start. It was a short outing, but there is a lot to unpack from that little amount of time he was out there.
Kopech reaching 100 miles per hour seven times is very notable. He threw 100, 101, 100, and 101 on the first four pitches he threw. He clearly has all of the velocity that he had prior to his injury. There were some concerns with how he would be after the surgery but all signs point to him being just fine. He came out and looked even better than he did before the injury and that is saying something because he was a very highly touted prospect.
Kopech has a great mix of pitches that he can use. His offspeed pitches mix well with the 100 miles per hour gas that he is capable of throwing. What makes his hardball extra special is the fact that it has an insane amount of movement. It is the type of pitch that not many people in the world can throw at the MLB level. If he is able to throw those devastating pitches regularly, he will soon be near the top of the White Sox rotation.