Michael Kopech made his major league debut less than three weeks ago and his career has already hit a wall. The 22-year-old flamethrower pitched in five games for the Chicago White Sox before getting devastating news on Friday. He needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the 2019 season.
This is a huge blow to both Kopech and the White Sox as a whole. In his first four starts, the flame-throwing righty was brilliant, posting a record of 1-0 with an ERA of 0.82. He allowed just one earned run while starting out nine and walking one in 11 innings.
On September 5 against the Detroit Tigers it was clear something was wrong. In 3.1 innings, Kopech allowed seven runs (all earned) on nine hits. He surrendered four home runs and just didn’t look right. It’s obvious now what was wrong.
The loss of Kopech isn’t just bad for the White Sox, it’s bad for baseball. He’s an incredibly exciting young pitcher known for a fastball that can easily hit triple digits.
Once he settled in to the big leagues there’s a solid chance his starts would become must-watch television. Now we’ll likely have to wait until 2020 to see him on the mound again.