Sox's Kopech gets start in Game 2 vs. Royals Friday

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech is scheduled to start Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader against the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field.

    White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech is scheduled to start Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader against the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/13/2021 6:40 PM

Michael Kopech has been a weapon out of the White Sox's bullpen this season, going 1-0 with a 1.26 ERA and striking out 21 in 14⅓ innings.

The 25-year-old righty has been equally effective as a spot starter at 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 8 innings.

 

Kopech is a near lock to be in the Sox's rotation in 2022, and he's anxious to get as many starting opportunities as possible this year.

In Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader against the Royals at Guaranteed Rate Field, Kopech is scheduled to make his third start.

Ramping back up after opting out of last season and missing all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Kopech is getting to the point where his pitch count doesn't matter.

If he's feeling good and getting outs in the nightcap vs. Kansas City after Lucas Giolito starts Game 1, Kopech could be on the mound for all 7 innings.

"I've been taught pitch counts are important, but it's not determining," manager Tony La Russa said. "You watch his delivery, if it's the way it's been where the ball is coming out nice, they can go whatever you figure the conditioning is, maybe a little farther.

"He's conditioned to get us into the second part of the game and we'll see how it all comes out for him. He had a real nice bullpen the other day where he stretched out and gained a little stamina. It's going to be fun to watch him, always is."

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