The Chicago White Sox decided to option Michael Kopech to Triple-A on Thursday, but it isn’t that meaningful in the grand scheme of things.
Kopech, 23, made his return to game action this spring as he tossed an inning in which he struck out one and allowed no baserunners.
Considering that was the first inning he had thrown in over a year due to Tommy John Surgery, it is not surprising, by any stretch, that the team decided to option Kopech.
That left Kopech on the outside, looking in from the very start of spring training, with very little chance of him out-pitching either Cease or Lopez to claim the fifth spot in the rotation.
Now, the biggest reason this really doesn’t mean a whole lot is that nobody knows what the rules are going to be or how the schedule is going to play out once baseball does return.
One possible solution that was discussed, as I wrote about in a recent article, is the idea of having scheduled doubleheaders throughout the season to make up for the lost time.
In that scenario, Kopech would likely be the first arm summoned as Carlos Rodon is also recovering from Tommy John Surgery and won’t be ready until later in the season, making the right-hander their best option.
After posting a 6.59 ERA, 6.92 FIP, 1.622 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, and 3.5 BB/9 in 2019, making accommodations to put him on the roster certainly isn’t very appealing.
While there are some simple maneuvers always possible to do that, it wouldn’t make much sense to clear a spot for someone of Detwiller’s caliber, especially for a team looking to contend in 2020.
Kopech could probably use some seasoning at Triple-A and the expectation is that he will get that early on this year.
But, if the need for another starter arises, he will likely be the first one called up as he simply is their best option outside of maybe the first few weeks of the regular season.
The point is that Michael Kopech will have his chance on the South Side this season and it likely won’t take long for him to get it, so this move should really be taken with a grain of salt right now.