As we have the New Year fully in front of us, it is fun to have New Year’s resolutions for ourselves. It is also fun to think about what the resolutions should be for our favorite sports teams. In the case of the Chicago White Sox, there are plenty of them. On the pitching side of things, there is one that sticks out above the rest.
We know that Carlos Rodon has a good chance of leaving and Dallas Keuchel is a wild card. Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito, and Lance Lynn are the only three guarantees in the starting rotation right now. However, it seems like Michael Kopech is pretty close to a guarantee in the rotation as well.
He might have the best stuff of them all but injuries and off-the-field stuff have led to his slower than expected development. We know about his 100 miles per hour pitches that move well and his devastating off-speed stuff that can fool even the best hitters.
It has already been made known that the plan is to transition him back to being a full-time starter. After having Tommy John end the 2018 season early and cancel all of 2019 for him, he missed the short 60-game season because he opted out for personal reasons. He returned in 2021 but was mostly used (he had a few spot starts) in the bullpen.
The aforementioned pitching New Year’s resolution should be to make sure that Kopech has a smooth transition back to the rotation. We know that they are going to try but they need to make sure that they do everything that they need to do for it to be a successful action.
If Kopech reaches his potential, he will be the best pitcher on the staff. As good as their rotation is, nobody has the pure arm talent of Michael Kopech. His fastball is just different than anybody else who throws the same speed. It is one of those things that you can’t explain without actually watching.
Michael Kopech is one of the best talents in the Chicago White Sox organization.
It is fair to worry about this as White Sox fans. He hasn’t been a starter in going on four years outside of a few spot starts for doubleheaders. Being a good starter on a staff that expects to win the World Series is hard but if anybody can figure it out, it is Michael Kopech.
He has all of the tools, it is just up to him to use them to his advantage. The White Sox, in terms of pitching, need to make it their number one priority. The lockout is not helping (players and team staff can’t have contact) but when it ends, they need to get him ready as best as they can. He can be the difference.