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Kopech turns in another strong start

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Defensive miscues under high Arizona sky ran up the pitch count

MLB: Spring Training-Texas Rangers at Chicago White Sox
Michael Kopech impressed again on Saturday against the Royals.
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Kopech is making it increasingly difficult for manager Rick Renteria and general manager Rick Hahn to keep him in the minor leagues to begin the season.

The righthander went 2 13 innings against the Kansas City Royals in Surprise, giving up two hits (neither off hard contact) and one walk while striking out three. He has now thrown 4 13 scoreless innings this spring training. He’s good, folks.

The flamethrower was consistently rushing up his fastball at 98 and 99 mph.

Kopech should have been out of the second inning earlier if it weren’t for a misplayed routine fly ball in right-center field. It’s been said a few times already this spring, but playing under the Arizona sky is not easy.

More importantly, Kopech struck out former White Sox legend Cody Asche later in the second. Quick aside...Asche and Jacob May were in the 2017 Opening Day starting lineup. Yikes.

Anyway, Asche could not lay off a tantalizing slider on a 2-2 pitch.

Kopech also gave up what the Royals broadcasters called an infield double in the third (damn you again, Arizona sky). MLB.com gave Jose Rondon an error, so we will go with that.

Sure, Kopech’s fastball has everyone excited, but it’s his offspeed pitches that can make him elite.

Kopech will most likely start in Triple-A Charlotte, but a major league debut in May is in sight.