By virtue of coming in second in Cy Young Award voting last year, in addition to being a top-notch performer, Cease is the top dog in the starting rotation for the White Sox and will remain so in 2023.
But who comes in second when it comes to the starting rotation? Which of the guys that the White Sox have is the second-best pitcher on the team?
This year, that player is going to be Michael Kopech. We saw flashes of near brilliance at times with him in 2022.
As long as he remains healthy we could see him build upon what he did last year and take a step or two forward. Injuries were a problem for him in 2022 and hopes are that he will be able to shake the injury bug and play well this year.
Michael Kopech is the second-best pitcher on the Chicago White Sox.
If you watched him pitch last season, you would have seen some of the things that he was capable of. He was Johnny on the spot a few times and coming into this season, he’s bound to be even better.
Looking at the statistics last year, Kopech started 25 games. He pitched 119.1 innings of baseball and had an ERA of 3.54 which was actually slightly higher than his previous season when it was 3.50.
Some of his other stats from last season include the fact that he allowed 47 earned runs, 85 hits, and had a WHIP of 1.190.
I would look for Kopech to be much better this year and climb into the number two spot on the rotation firmly as the season moves forward.
Sure, some people might argue that Lance Lynn is the second-best starting pitcher on the White Sox right now, and while that might be true but when you look at it, Kopech has a lot more potential. If a few things go his way, Kopech could easily step into that second spot and shine.
Let’s look at Kopech a little closer and see what he does mechanically. Kopech throws four types of pitches as most pitchers do. His favorite is the four-seam fastball.
He throws this just a little over 60% of the time and he throws it in the 95 miles-per-hour range. Kopech’s second favorite pitch is the slider which he uses just under 30% of the time. The last two pitches he utilizes are the curveball and the changeup.
Kopech’s fastball is fairly effective and it got better as the season went on. I would look for him to start out a little bit slow but pick up steam.
He must also stay healthy which was a challenge for him last season. Last year, Kopech was plagued by injuries to his shoulder and his right knee. His right knee issue affected him and he finally had surgery to repair it in October.
So Kopech is healthy and ready to go. He’s going to be an ace on the pitching staff in 2023 so just sit back and watch.
By the end of the season, Kopech will be the White Sox second best pitcher.