6:18 p.m.: Interview with James Fegan of The Athletic (Twitter connections) and other reporters after the game, Kopech said his knee was sore and had fluid buildup, but an MRI revealed no structural issues. He felt a little pinch or pop sensation in his knee on his last throw of the game.
Kopech and manager Tony La Russa both expressed hope that the injury was not serious and that Kopech might not even miss a start. For the Detroit series, La Russa said Lynn will now pitch on Monday, Dylan Cease will start on Tuesday and Wednesday’s starter is yet to be determined.
5:21 p.m.: Michael Kopech only lasted 13 shots in today’s start against the Rangers as the White Sox right-hander had to leave the game due to what the Sox later described as right knee discomfort. After launching a strike at Adolis GarciaKopech was visibly uncomfortable on the mound and left after a visit from the team coach.
More will be known about Kopech’s status after he receives tests and treatment, but for now, it looks like the White Sox may have suffered another key injury. With several notable players sidelined for long stretches (or even the entire season, like the patient Tommy John Garrett Hook), Chicago failed to gain much momentum as the club went 27-30 in today’s game with Texas.
Just when it looked like the rotation was finally taking shape with the impending return of Lance Lynn, the White Sox now face another possible absence in Kopech. Lynn was slated for Tuesday’s game against the Tigers, though Chicago’s rotation will have to be shuffled since Johnny Cueto (Monday’s scheduled starter) ended up pitching five innings today. A day off Thursday should help settle things, but in the short term, the Sox are now suddenly facing a bit of a slump for this series in Detroit.
In his first full year as a starting pitcher, Kopech has an outstanding 1.94 ERA in 51 2/3 innings, though his 4.34 SIERA and 4.49 xFIP aren’t as impressed with his performance. The right-hander has enjoyed a .180 BABIP, and his 12% walk rate is only in the 13th percentile of all pitchers. While some regression was likely inevitable, it also remained to be seen how long Kopech would remain in the rotation, as it seemed likely the White Sox would limit his innings to some degree given Kopech’s lack of work in 2019- 20, and his use as a reliever in 2021.