Tuesday was an intriguing day for White Sox baseball. The Sox were split today against the Seattle Mariners and the Cincinnati Reds. Both games were started by star pitching prospects in the White Sox system, Michael Kopech against Seattle and Reynaldo Lopez against Cincinnati.
The lineup with more major leaguers/regular players for the White Sox stayed in Glendale to host the Mariners. In his Cactus League debut, Kopech had the tough task of facing a Seattle lineup that started superstars such as Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz. Kopech began with a 3 pitch(all fastballs) strikeout of Ben Gamel. It was pretty much downhill from there. He only lasted one inning while giving up 4 runs on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts. He gave up a 3-run homer to Mitch Haniger as well. The Mariners beat the Sox 8-1. Becuase Kopech is only 20 years old, this start is not concerning at all. Kopech definitely shows promise with his triple digit fastball. He will spend the entirety of the 2017 in the minors, so he will be able to get more exposure and be able to further develop his craft.
In Goodyear, Arizona, Reynaldo Lopez got the start against the Reds. Lopez was acquired as a part of the Adam Eaton trade from the Washington Nationals. Similar to Kopech, Lopez did not fair well in his first Cactus League start. Lopez lasted an inning and a third while giving up 5 earned runs on 4 hits with no strikeouts and a walk. He also gave up a home run to Ryan Raburn in his start. Lopez is very close to being ready to hit the major leagues. He saw time in the MLB last season with the Nationals and pitched pretty well. He will likely start off the 2017 season with the Charlotte Knights, but he will get the call to the majors shortly thereafter. Even after the rough start, the Sox came back to beat the Reds 10-9 led by 4 RBIs from Leury Garcia.
These rough outings are not concerning at all, as both pitchers will have more minor league development time before they become key parts of the Chicago White Sox.
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