Michael Kopech’s journey to the starting rotation took another step forward Friday.
We’ll see how many steps it will take him to finally get there.
The White Sox slow-playing of Kopech makes all the sense in the world after the fireballer missed the last two seasons. His use this year as a multi-inning bullpen weapon/spot starter has been a revelation, and it’s hard to imagine things working out better than they have so far as the starting rotation shines without him, not forcing him into starting action earlier than necessary.
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But it’s possible Kopech is one injury or a bout of underperformance away from being pressed into more regular starting duty, making spot starts like Friday’s important for keeping the White Sox top depth piece ready.
“Long-term plan for me, or long-term goal for me, at least, is to get back into the starting rotation and get comfortable doing a five-day routine,” Kopech said. “But right now, I’m going to pitch whenever Tony (La Russa) wants me to pitch and do my job every time I go out there. And it’s been working.
“I’ve had a couple outings where I don’t feel super sharp. But I’m still getting pretty good results, so I can’t really complain about that. Just getting a chance when there’s an opening to get into a start and try to do what I can in a start,…