On Thursday morning, White Sox manager Tony La Russa further clarified the team’s pitching plans for the upcoming weekend series against the Kansas City Royals.
Due to an early April rainout, the AL Central foes will play a split doubleheader on Friday. Yesterday’s announcement of rotation shuffling slots Lucas Giolito in for Game 1, and today La Russa confirmed Michael Kopech as the starter for Game 2.
Kopech owns a 2-0 record, 1.61 ERA, and 1.62 FIP in 22.1 innings over nine appearances in 2021. The hard-throwing righty has primarily fulfilled a bullpen role to this point, but he has also started two games with exceptional results so far this season.
In his two starts, Kopech touts a 1-0 record and 2.25 ERA with 14 strikeouts and just five hits allowed. Opponents are hitting just .179 against Kopech in those two contests.
With MLB doubleheaders now entailing two seven-inning affairs, Kopech has become the White Sox go-to option in such situations. After not throwing in a big-league game for two years due to Tommy John surgery and opting out of the shortened 2020 season, Kopech is making the most of his opportunities to work back into the starting rotation by performing at a high level in these types of spot starts.