Sidelined this season, Sox’ Michael Kopech plans to be better, stronger in 2020

SHARE Sidelined this season, Sox’ Michael Kopech plans to be better, stronger in 2020

Michael Kopech is trying to find a positive spin on his situation.

Less than a month after getting called up in August, Kopech learned he would need Tommy John surgery and would miss the 2019 season.

“There were points where I was just devastated, I didn’t want to do anything,” Kopech said during the first day of SoxFest.

“It’s tough, that’s the most difficult part. It’s not the rehab, it’s being optimistic about it.”

But Kopech, 22, who was expected to be a top-of-the rotation starter in 2019, refused to feel sorry for himself. Although not playing this season is going to be “God awful,” Kopech said, it’s also a “blessing” in disguise.

“I have a lot of time off, but I have a lot of time to get better,” Kopech said. “I went to the big leagues last year with practically a non-existent changeup, and that’s going to be one of the focal points of my rehab. Between that and a couple of other things, I’m going to really try to take advantage of this time off.”


• Win or lose on Machado, White Sox will always have Eloy Jimenez

• White Sox’ Yoan Moncada, at unexpected crossroads, sees ‘very good’ season ahead

Kopech believes he will be better and stronger than before when he returns in 2020.

“I’m a little too stubborn [to give up],” he said. “So even if my arm wasn’t up for it, my mind was, so I was going to come back one way or another.”

Cease the day

Dylan Cease is in a similar situation as where Kopech was last year at this time. The 2018 MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year is a budding star, but he hasn’t spent enough time in the minor leagues yet, according to general manager Rick Hahn.

Kopech and Cease — whom MLB Pipeline ranked the Nos. 3 and 5 best right-handed pitching prospects, respectively — have a lot in common, and Kopech recognized that.

“There’s no going around it, he’s a hell of a pitcher,” Kopech said. “I’m not one to play GM, but he’s going to be there this year.”

Hahn wouldn’t be surprised if Cease makes his way to the majors next season.

“The good ones have a way of forcing your hand,” Hahn said. “And it won’t shock me if some point over the course of the summer we’ll be getting repeated ‘When is Dylan Cease coming up?’ questions.”

The Latest
The changes, which apply to masking and the number of visitors, take effect Monday.
The middle child in a family of 10 children, Johnson grew up in a three-bedroom Elgin home with parents who were pastors and also foster parents. After his mother died, Johnson helped to carry the ministry forward. “This is really a faith walk,” he says of his run for mayor.
One of them started out as a boy in Roseland before moving with his family to the southwest suburbs. The other was raised in far west suburban Elgin before moving to Chicago’s West Side after he married. Despite following very different paths, both now have their sights trained on Chicago’s City Hall.
Police say Seamus Gray left the Ibiza Bar on North Genesee Street in Waukegan around 1:35 a.m. on March 18 and was last seen on camera in the area of Sheridan Road and Washington Street.
BUILD Chicago’s new youth and family center in Austin is free and open to the public. There’s a laundry room, a restorative justice program and a farm, among other things.