Kopech's disappointing season is over as he has knee surgery
Michael Kopech's miserable season came to an abrupt end Friday.
Before the White Sox lost to the Red Sox 3-2 at Fenway Park, Kopech had surgery to remove a cyst from his right knee.
Dr. Nikhil Verma performed the procedure at Rush Oak Brook Surgery Center and Kopech is expected to be fully recovered in 6-8 weeks.
It was a tough way to end a tough year, and maybe the knee issue was responsible for Kopech's lackluster showing on the mound.
"He's been treating that the whole year," White Sox manager Pedro Grifol told reporters. "It definitely affected him. To what extent, not real sure. Only he knows that."
Kopech showed flashes of brilliance in the first half of the season while going 3-7 with a 4.08 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 86 innings.
In the second half, the 27-year-old starting pitcher was 2-5 with a 7.49 ERA and 40 walks in 39.2 innings. He was demoted to the bullpen and didn't fare any better, giving up 8 earned runs in 3⅔ innings.
Heading into Friday's play, Kopech was second in MLB with 91 walks.
The Sox can only hope Kopech reports to spring training in February fully healthy and ready to reclaim his spot in the rotation.
"I saw one of the best pitchers in baseball for a while, and then I saw a guy who was battling through some mechanical stuff and physical stuff and mental stuff, and then I saw him finish OK," Grifol said. "Hopefully, he can get into the off-season and put it all together and come back. We need him. We're counting on him."
The White Sox recalled Yohan Ramirez from Class AAA Charlotte to take Kopech's spot in the bullpen.
Ramirez was claimed off waivers from Pittsburgh on Sept. 1 after going 1-0 with a 3.67 ERA in 26 relief appearances for the Pirates.
The Sox officially announced Josh Barfield has been hired as assistant general manager Friday.
Brian Bannister is also joining the organization as senior adviser to pitching, and Gene Watson comes in as director of player personnel.
"We are very pleased to add Josh, Brian and Gene to our baseball operations decision-making and leadership group," White Sox general manager Chris Getz said in a statement. "All three are highly respected baseball executives who bring different backgrounds, accomplishments and points of view to our department.
"Josh is a real rising front office star, Brian is recognized as one of the top pitching minds in the game, and Gene is acknowledged as one of the best talent evaluators in baseball."
The 40-year-old Barfield has spent the last nine seasons with the Diamondbacks and was Arizona's director of player development the last four years.
Red Sox 3, White Sox 2
While losing for the 10th time in 13 games, the White Sox couldn't hold a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning.
After Adam Duvall tied it with a sacrifice fly in the eighth, Masataka Yoshida decided the outcome with a run-scoring single.
Returning from the injured list (shoulder inflammation) and making his first relief appearance since June 15, Garrett Crochet allowed 1 run on 2 hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning and took the loss.
The White Sox scored both of their runs on the sixth on Andrew Vaughn's RBI single and Trayce Thompson's run-scoring double.