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Gamethread: Angels at White Sox

Michael Kopech takes the mound for his first appearance of the spring.

MLB: Spring Training-Chicago White Sox Workouts
Michael Kopech takes the mound for the first time this spring.
Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Sunday, happy Daylight Savings, happy World Baseball Classic day, and happy Michael Kopech day! The Angels (9-5) will visit Camelback Ranch this afternoon to face the Chicago White Sox (7-6). It will be Michael Kopech on the mound for the first time this season, facing righty Griffin Canning.

Kopech had an interesting 2022, but so did everyone, to be fair. He started off the season hot, but as the year went on battled lingering injuries and just wasn’t the same in the second half. Nonetheless, he still has some nasty stuff and the potential to be a star for the South Siders if he can stay healthy and consistent. Last year, Kopech appeared in 29 games and went 5-9 with a 3.54 ERA and 1.19 WHIP. He had 105 strikeouts in 119 13 IP. The righty relies on four pitches, with his fastball being used the most at 61.8%. He follows with a slider (26.8%), curveball (10.2%), and changeup (1.2%). Today will give be nice to see where he is at and how he can perform fully healthy.

Canning will be making his second appearance of the spring. In his first outing he picked up the win with two innings (two strikeouts, no runs). Canning was drafted by the Angels in 2017 in the second round and was the overall 47th pick. He made his debut with the Angels in 2019, but didn’t appear in the majors last year due to a back injury that kept him out the entire season. Fans are still excited to see Canning’s potential and what he can do on the mound. He relies on four pitches, with his fastball being used the most at 40.8%. He follows with his slider (26.9%), changeup (21.2%), and curveball (11.1%).

Elvis Andrus will lead it off and play shortstop, followed by Oscar Colás in right and Andrew Vaughn in the DH spot. Gavin Sheets will get the start at first base, followed by the hot Jake Burger at third base and Zach Remillard in left field. Leury García will get second base, Sebastian Rivero is behind the plate, and Adam Haseley is in center.

By the way, Cuba has won in Pool A, moving Yoán Moncada, Luis Robert Jr., and the rest of the team on to the next round of the tournament!

Game time is at 3:05 p.m. CT. No NBCSCHI broadcast today, but the Angels are televising the game on Bally Sports.