Michael Kopech is expected to be an elite starter for the Chicago White Sox one day. He has shown promise in his young MLB career but his playing time has been short-lived. He missed all of 2019 after ending the 2018 season with Tommy John surgery. He then missed the 2020 season as he opted out of the 60 game COVID-19 season.
Finally, he returned in 2021. They eased him into game action by putting him in the bullpen. He made a few spot starts but mostly served as a reliever. He did a very nice job of it as well. There were some issues with tipping pitches as the season went along but he got it figured out quickly.
His strikeout rate was as high as anyone on the team which shows just how dominant he can be with the stuff that he has. His incredible fastball moves like a slider but his breaking stuff is amazing as well. It is a really nice mix of pitches that fools hitters on a regular basis.
The White Sox have been very vocal about moving him into the starting rotation once again. That was his role before the injury and it is what he has been working for his entire life. An innings limit as a starter is likely going to be a thing at first.
The Chicago White Sox can ease Michael Kopech back into the starting rotation.
The White Sox have what they need on the roster in order to make that a realistic plan. Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, and Dylan Cease are locks to be the top three. They also might add another starter before the year begins which makes it four. With Dallas Keuchel and Reynaldo Lopez there, a six-man rotation is certainly possible. If they were to make that happen, Kopech would benefit.
They also have Garrett Crochet in the mix who is a bullpen arm on paper but the goal is for him to be a starter as well. All of these guys can help take the pressure off of Kopech as he tries to make that move back to the rotation.
The roster is built for them to ease Kopech into that role. If he reaches his true potential, the White Sox will have yet another ace on their hands. His floor is where he is at right now which is pretty scary for every other team in the league. Starting games is something that he is capable of and should succeed at in short order.