Michael Kopech has had one crazy start to his pro baseball career. He was a prospect with the Boston Red Sox before the Chicago White Sox acquired him and Yoan Moncada in exchange for Chris Sale. It was a move that changed a lot of things for both franchises.
Kopech took a couple of seasons to make his Major League debut but he was pretty good en route to doing so. Once he did reach the big leagues, however, he suffered an injury that forced him to get Tommy John surgery.
The procedure canceled the rest of his 2018 season and all of the 2019 season as he recovered. He was, however, ready to go for the 2020 season. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t happen for him as he opted out of the short 60 games season following the league’s return from COVID-19.
With two and a half years gone by since his last pitch thrown in the Major Leagues, he did make his return in 2021 for real. In order to limit his innings and ease him back into everyday baseball, the White Sox used him in the bullpen for the season.
He made a couple of spot starts here and there for doubleheaders but he was treated as more of an “opener” in those games. Being careful with him is important even though his stuff makes you want to use him as much as possible.
Michael Kopech is going to try and become a Chicago White Sox starter in 2022.
Now, the plan is to ease him back into the rotation starting here in 2022. That plan is a good one but it could lead to a six-man rotation in order for them to get the most out of him while being careful with his health.
Kopech was asked about returning to the rotation and his response really made you think. He called being a Major League starter his dream job. It makes sense as that is something he has done naturally his entire life before 2021.
He made sure to note that he enjoyed his time in the bullpen and that there is nothing wrong with being in that role. It is fair for him to want to be a starter since that is what he has been working towards since he was a kid.
What should we expect from Kopech in 2021? That answer is easy. He is going to be awesome. He might not be let off the leash at any point this year but he is going to be a very good starter. The way he works his pitches is incredible and it is only going to get better.