White Sox starting pitcher Michael Kopech left his start Monday in the first inning with left knee soreness before he recorded an out.
The 26-year-old right-hander appeared to suffer a left knee injury during one of his final warm-up pitches but, after a few minutes of medical supervision, manager Tony La Russa started the tall righty anyway.
Michael Kopech Injury Update
Kopech’s first pitch of the game was an errant 88 MPH fastball and he hovered around 90-92 MPH the remainder of his start, well below his average velocity of 95.
In only 19 pitches, Kopech allowed one hit, walked two, and hit a batter, leaving the bases loaded and walking away with four earned runs.
The term “soreness,” according to the Pro Baseball Docs, is often used as a blanket descriptor for an issue before the team has identified a specific injury, similar to the “discomfort” moniker that the Astros notoriously use.
Kopech left his June 12 start in a remarkably similar manner, suffering a right knee injury on his 13th pitch in the first inning.
In that instance, the tall right-hander only needed some excess fluid drained and he made his next scheduled start a week later.
Reporters and fans of the White Sox questioned La Russa's decision to start Kopech, who has dealt with previous knee injuries and is just over three years removed from undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Chicago's south side team has been the most injury-bitten team in MLB the last two years: according to an independent researcher, players on the White Sox have combined to suffer injuries to every part of the body in the last calendar year.
In 23 games this season, Kopech is 4-9 with a 3.58 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP.
After coming into the season as an overwhelming favorite in the AL Central, Chicago is 62-60 and stands one game behind the Twins and three games behind the Guardians.