White Sox

Michael Kopech 'feeling more athletic' during his rehab

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USA TODAY

Michael Kopech 'feeling more athletic' during his rehab

While going through rehab from Tommy John surgery, Michael Kopech has had some extra time and freedom for the past year.

One thing he has decided to do with that time is grow out his hair. He’s not just doing it out of laziness, the White Sox pitcher is doing it for charity.

Kopech’s Big Kut Sweepstakes offers fans who donate a chance to win prizes, including a private lunch with Kopech. Donations are going to Chicago White Sox Charities and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Chicago and Northwest Indiana.

“I wanted to give back in anyway that I could and cancer is a sensitive subject in my family to begin with because we lost a lot of family members to begin with,” Kopech said in a phone interview during Wednesday’s White Sox-Royals broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago. 

“I thought if I’m not doing anything this year anyway, growing out my hair doesn’t seem to be the most difficult thing in the world so we’re going to do that.”

As for Kopech’s hair, he says it’s past the collar on his shirt, but it has still been longer before. He hasn’t cut it since February, right before spring training.

“It probably wouldn’t be under team policy right now,” Kopech said.

When it comes to Kopech’s rehab, it sounds like things are on schedule. Kopech is throwing bullpen sessions and said throwing to hitters in live batting practice is coming soon. He expects to be “a regular everyday guy” by the start of spring training.

“I’m feeling more athletic than I have in a long time because I’ve really got to work on some weaknesses of mine that I didn’t get to before,” Kopech said. “Mentally I’m doing great. I feel like I’m in a good point in my life, especially coming back from an injury like this.”

Kopech has shown off his hiking travels on social media and got engaged in July so he’s definitely been active. He misses the competition of pitching though.

“I feel like I’ve spent most of my life on that mound so for me it brings back a lot of emotion, but more so it brings back the competitor in me, which I think it what’s been sidelined the most,” Kopech said. “Physically I haven’t been able to play this year, but mentally not being able to compete has been a whole different animal for me. Being able to feel like I’m close to competition and getting better everyday with my pitches on the mound, that’s a big deal for me.”

 

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White Sox Talk Podcast: Can MLB pull the 2020 season off?

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Can MLB pull the 2020 season off?

Chuck Garfien is joined by Vinnie Duber as they discuss whether MLB can actually complete the season this year. They also dive into some hurdles baseball could face and how will they address a team with multiple positive COVID-19 cases. 

(1:30) - Should fans be worried that a season can happen?

(5:50) - Can MLB make baseball stadiums be safe?

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(10:20) - Will players be able to hold each other accountable?

(14:00) - Will the 60 games schedule be beneficial to MLB?

Listen here or below.

White Sox Talk Podcast

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MLB The Show: White Sox hold off late Cubs rally to clinch two-game sweep

MLB The Show: White Sox hold off late Cubs rally to clinch two-game sweep

This two-game series vs. the Cubs heading into the All-Star break marks the end of NBC Sports Chicago’s simulation of the 2020 White Sox season.

Result: White Sox def. Cubs, 8-7 
Record: 56-37, 1st in AL Central (3.0 games ahead of Twins)

W: Dane Dunning (6-1)
L: Jon Lester (6-8)
SV: Alex Colome (20)

Game summary: After taking down the Cubs 10-8 in the series opener, the White Sox followed up Wednesday’s performance with another victory against the Cubs to finish their sim season. Lucas Giolito got the ball against Jon Lester and got punished early by the Cubs power bats. Javy Báez and Kyle Schwarber homered in the first to give the Cubs an early 2-0 lead.

Lester did not fare well in the first either. Edwin Encarnacion led off the Sox night with a home run and Lester’s night only got worse as the South Siders scored two more in the third on a Jose Abreu single. The White Sox added three more in the fourth, capped off by a Yoan Moncada RBI single that ended Lester’s night. 

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After a Jason Kipnis home run brought the Cubs back within two, Tim Anderson homered to take back the three-run lead. In the sixth, Encarnacion homered again for the 35th time this season, taking the American League lead from teammate Yasmani Grandal. 

Things got testy for the White Sox late when Kipnis homered for a second time and Baez followed with another homer to make it 8-7. The Sox bullpen got back on track in the eighth and ninth as former Cub Steve Cishek and closer Alex Colomé shut down the Cubs to secure the series sweep.

White Sox lineup:

Edwin Encarnacion: 4-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI (.334 BA)
Eloy Jimenez: 0-3, 2 BB (.259 BA)
Yoan Moncada: 3-5, RBI (.279 BA)
Yasmani Grandal: 1-3, 2B (.301 BA)
Jose Abreu: 1-4, 2 RBI (.320 BA)
Tim Anderson: 2-4, HR, 2 RBI (.271 BA)
Luis Robert: 0-3, BB (.255 BA)
Nick Madrigal: 1-4 (.285 BA)
Nomar Mazara: 1-4, RBI (.257 BA)

Scoring summary:

Top first

Javy Báez homered to left field. 1-0 CHC.
Kyle Schwarber homered to right field. 2-0 CHC.

Bottom first:

Edwin Encarnacion homered to left field. 2-1 CHC.

Bottom third:

Jose Abreu singled to center field, Encarnacion and Yoan Moncada scored. 3-2 CHW.

Top fourth:

Willson Contreras homered to left field. 3-3.

Bottom fourth:

Nomar Mazara singled to left field, Luis Robert scored. 4-3 CHW.
Encarnacion singled to right field, Nick Madrigal scored. 5-3 CHW.
Moncada singled to right field, Mazara scored. 6-3 CHW.

Top fifth:

Jason Kipnis homered to right field. 6-4 CHW.

Bottom fifth:

Tim Anderson homered to left field. 7-4 CHW.

Top sixth:

Ian Happ sacrifice fly to center field, Anthony Rizzo scored. 7-5 CHW.

Bottom sixh:

Encarnacion homered to left field. 8-5 CHW.

Top seventh:

Kipnis homered to right field. 8-6 CHW.
Báez homered to left field. 8-7 CHW.

Notable performance: Colomé picked up his 20th save of the season on Thursday as he inched closer to his 2019 total of 30. Colome has converted 20 of his 24 chances this season after starting the year as a setup man to then closer Aaron Bummer.

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