Slow start won't prompt Chicago White Sox to rush prospects

Posted5/14/2018 1:00 AM
  • Chicago White Sox prospect Michael Kopech listens as he he meets with members of the media before a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Chicago.

    Chicago White Sox prospect Michael Kopech listens as he he meets with members of the media before a baseball game against the Cleveland Indians, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017, in Chicago.

Until top prospects such as Michael Kopech and Eloy Jimenez are ready for the major leagues, the Chicago White Sox are going to keep selling hope.

Tied for the worst start (10-27) in the 118-year history of the franchise, adding Kopech and Jimenez could only improve the Sox's difficult situation.

The duo is likely to be on the roster before season's end, but manager Rick Renteria said the time has to be right.

"You can't cross that line," he said. "I think that you have to allow those guys that are in the system to continue to work through the things that they're working through. I don't think it would make sense, honestly, to push something because of what's occurring here at the particular moment."

General manager Rick Hahn said much the same when asked about a potential arrival date for Kopech.

"When they're getting close to getting here, I think it will be pretty obvious to everybody based on their performance," Hahn said. "And one day we'll have an announcement that he'll be activated tomorrow. (Kopech) continues to progress, and important elements of his development are happening down there at Charlotte.

"Not just the number of changeups he's throwing or the effectiveness of the changeup, but the stuff you can't really see in terms of his preparation and his reaction to adversity and how he responds to that in between starts.

"It's a process. Not all of it's obvious to the eyes, not all of it can be picked up from a stat line. We're definitely pleased with the progress, but there's work to be done."

Kopech's last outing for Class AAA Charlotte was easily his worst of the season, The 22-year-old righty lasted just 3⅓ innings in Friday's start against Durham, allowing 8 earned runs on 5 hits and 4 walks.

Kopech is 0-2 with a 4.86 ERA in 7 starts with Charlotte. He is tied for second in the International League with 44 strikeouts (in 33⅓ innings).

Staying put:

After allowing 5 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in 1⅔ innings during Friday's start against the Cubs, Carson Fulmer's future in the rotation was up for discussion.

Manager Rick Renteria met with pitching coach Don Cooper and bullpen coach Curt Hasler to talk it over, and Fulmer is going to make his next scheduled start, Wednesday at Pittsburgh.

"We're still on tap," Renteria said. "Coop and Has have been working with him. He'll do a side, continue to work, try to get back on track, continue to put himself in line. He had made some improvements.

"I think Coop and Has have looked over the video; he was kind of sitting back a little bit in some of his delivery action. They'll continue to try to work on it and get him back on track."

Moncada watch:

On the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring, second baseman Yoan Moncada was running on the field before Sunday's game at Wrigley Field. He's on track to be activated Tuesday when the Sox play at Pittsburgh.

"He's doing very, very well," manager Rick Renteria said.

After Sunday's win over the Cubs, the White Sox optioned infielder Jose Rondon to Class AAA Charlotte, which clears a roster spot for Moncada's return.

Moving up:

Jordan Stephens was promoted Sunday from Class AA Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte.

Rated as the White Sox's No. 16 prospect by Baseball America, Stephens was 4-3 with a 2.95 ERA in 7 starts. In his last 4 outings for Birmingham, the 25-year-old righty was 4-0 with a 1.31 ERA.

The Sox drafted Stephens on the 15th round in 2015 out of Rice University.

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