White Sox

White Sox: Avisail Garcia day-to-day after leaving game with sore left knee

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AP

White Sox: Avisail Garcia day-to-day after leaving game with sore left knee

If it’s any indication of how his sore left knee feels, Avisail Garcia was singing out loud before he addressed reporters late Wednesday night.

The White Sox outfielder does have an MRI scheduled for Thursday morning after he left Wednesday night’s game with the injury. But Garcia didn’t seem overly concerned about the matter and generally was in an upbeat mood. Garcia’s manager described him as day to day.

“I’m OK,” Garcia said. “Just when I (slid) into first base I (felt) a little bit something in my knee. They wanted to take a look. We were losing so why not rush.

“I have a MRI (Thursday) in the morning. They want to make sure everything is ok. But I’m fine.”

The team’s top All-Star candidate, Garcia is hitting .318/.362/.512 with 11 home runs and 51 RBIs in 309 plate appearances this season. He went 0-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch before he exited.

Though Garcia tweaked his knee in the bottom of the seventh inning, he didn’t leave until the top of the ninth inning. He was replaced in right field by Alen Hanson.

“He kind of just on stepping on the bag just extended,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He'll be day to day. Had an ice bag on it. He'll be fine. We'll know more tomorrow.”

Garcia seemed more concerned by the play on which he was hurt than about how he felt. Having walked with two outs in the seventh inning and the White Sox trailing 8-2 in a torrential downpour, New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez attempted to throw behind Garcia, which forced the runner to dive back into first base. Garcia stayed on the ground for a short period and looked as if he were stretching.

“I don’t know what happened,” Garcia said. “But we were losing 8-2 and (Sanchez) (threw) behind me, so I (had) to slide. I (got) a little bit hurt, but I’m fine.”

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Kopech prepares for The Show

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Michael Kopech prepares for The Show

Pete McMurray, David Haugh and Ben Finfer join David Kaplan on the panel and discuss the long-awaited arrival of Michael Kopech for the White Sox, Yu Darvish's short rehab start and Mitch Trubisky's second preseason game.

Plus, they discuss new NFL rules and when Eloy Jimenez could get his call up.

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below:

Chris Getz on Michael Kopech: 'He’s got no interest in being second best'

Chris Getz on Michael Kopech: 'He’s got no interest in being second best'

With his MLB debut a day away, the Michael Kopech hype train is rolling full steam ahead.

Chris Getz, the White Sox farm director, did nothing to really slow that train down. Getz was interviewed during the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast and it was all about the pitching prospect and his upcoming debut.

“His stuff is unique,” Getz said. “It’s front-line repertoire, there’s no question. But he’s got such a competitive mindset. He’s got no interest in being second best. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great person. He’s everything you ask for in a guy to be on a team to compete for championships.”

Getz said Kopech has become more confident with his curveball in his last six or seven starts. The “six or seven starts” timeframe is something both general manager Rick Hahn and Charlotte Knights pitching coach Steve McCatty said verbatim in other interviews on Monday. Apparently they saw what they wanted to in terms of Kopech’s development.

Kopech had a 1.84 ERA with 59 strikeouts and four walks in 44 innings in his last seven starts with the Knights. He also didn’t walk any batters in his last three starts over 20 innings.

“He’s got a lot of momentum going right now,” Getz said. “He’s in a very good position for success. He’s right where you want a player to be when we graduate them to the major leagues.”

McCatty, when talking about Kopech on ESPN 1000 with Fred Huebner, said Kopech’s fastball, slider and curveball are all plus pitches.

McCatty also has some experience with big time prospects coming up to the majors. He was the Nationals pitching coach when Stephen Strasburg made his major league debut in 2010. He had some advice for Kopech for his White Sox debut.

“I told him make sure you’re not throwing 102 in the first inning,” McCatty said with a laugh. “He’s gonna be exciting. He’s a specially talented kid. There’s no question about it.”

In Getz’s in-game interview with Jason Benetti and Steve Stone, Benetti asked about Kopech’s upside. Getz didn’t temper expectations in his response.

“To be a front end guy,” Getz said. “He’s got all the ingredients that all the best pitchers have. Michael, he’s going to be himself. He’s got a great personality. He’s got great stuff on the mound. He’s just going to be a guy that’s got a chance to be in the major leagues for a long time at the front end of a major league staff. In terms of throwing comparisons out there, there’s no need to do that. He’s going to be himself and he’s going to be a good one.”