White Sox’ Michael Kopech not going to push it

After reaching career highs in innings and starts, Kopech could be done for the season.

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Michael Kopech is unlikely to pitch for the White Sox again this season.

Michael Kopech is unlikely to pitch for the White Sox again this season.

AP

DETROIT — The chances of Michael Kopech pitching again this season are slim.

First, the White Sox would have to be in contention in the final four days of the season, when his IL term for shoulder inflammation runs out. Second, he would have to feel well enough to pitch, but considering Kopech has been dealing with “general soreness” throughout the season, as he shared Sunday, there seems to be little reason to push it.

“It just didn’t feel right,” Kopech said. “It’s hard to push through something if you don’t know and you know it’s not feeling right. I’m probably glad I’m taking the time.”

Kopech said if pitching again wouldn’t risk long-term damage, “I’m going to come back and give the team what I got here at the end.”

That sounds more like the voice of a team guy than a voice of reason.

“I’ve had a heavier workload this year,” said Kopech, who pitched a career-high 119„ innings while posting a 3.54 ERA in 25 starts. “I’ve been kind of working through a little bit of just general soreness over the course of the season. It’s been taking me a little bit longer to get loose.

“Threw that bullpen session in Cleveland [on Thursday] and just felt like I never could get loose. For precautionary reasons, I just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t doing anything to cause potential damage. So the team had me shut down for a little while.”

Kelly on leave

Right-hander Joe Kelly went on the family medical leave list and will be away for a minimum of three days, meaning he can return for the second game of the three-game series against the Guardians on Wednesday. Left-hander Tanner Banks was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte.

Kelly has a 6.42 ERA but is on a streak of five scoreless appearances. Acting manager Miguel Cairo said he didn’t know how long Kelly would be away.

Banks is 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 33 relief appearances with the Sox and had a 2.65 ERA in nine appearances at Charlotte.

Home runs in small bunches

Not since Ivan Calderon led with 14 in 1989 and Carlton Fisk with 18 in 1990 has a Sox home-run leader had fewer than George Bell’s 25 in 1992, with the exception of Jose Abreu’s 19 during his COVID-shortened MVP season in 2020.

The Sox still stand a chance of having a leader with fewer than 20. Here’s their bunched-up leaderboard: Andrew Vaughnhas 17, Abreu 15, Eloy Jimenez 14, Elvis Andrus 14 (six with the Sox), Gavin Sheets 13, AJ Pollock 12, Luis Robert 12 and Yoan Moncada 10. The Sox rank 21st in the majors with 137 home runs but have 31 in their last 19 games, including three Sunday.

Robert out

After playing a full game Saturday, Robert rested his sore wrist, giving him two days off, including Monday. When Robert started back-to-back days last Tuesday and Wednesday, he needed two days to recover for another start.

“Hopefully with two more days he’s fine and can go [Tuesday], Wednesday and Thursday [and] for the rest of the season,” Cairo said. “That’s what we’re hoping.”

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