Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale/USA TODAY Sports
The White Sox front office and fans alike were looking forward to today’s Spring Training matchup against the Oakland Athletics. Michael Kopech was scheduled to make his 2018 cactus league debut in hopes that he could make the 25-man roster by the end of Spring Training. While it isn’t likely that Kopech begins the season on the Opening Day roster, the young flamethrower did everything he could to prove he belonged in the majors soon.
Oakland’s manager Bob Melvin trotted out a lineup close to what we should see on Opening Day for the Athletics, yet Michael Kopech made easy work of the California franchise. In only two innings of work, Kopech racked up three strikeouts to go along with no walks. He looked brilliant on the mound and was able to work out of some tough counts as shown here:
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) February 26, 2018
Unfortunately, not all was bright on the day for the White Sox organization or its fan base. The happiness of a beautiful day and wonderful baseball game quickly turned sour in the third inning. With a 2-0 lead and Matt Davidson sitting on second base, White Sox 2017 first round pick, Jake Burger stepped up to the plate ready to add to the team’s lead. He attacked the first pitch he saw as he grounded out to third base, but crumpled to the ground about 30 feet away from first base. Burger was placed onto a cart and removed from the game as he was unable to place any weight on his left leg.
It was later revealed that Burger suffered an achilles injury in his left leg and more information would be provided by the team on Tuesday.
The injuries are piling up for the South Side franchise with Micker Adolfo dealing with a UCL issue that will force him to DH for the first part of the baseball season while Eloy Jimenez is battling a sore knee that will keep him out of tomorrow’s contest against the Cubs.
The only thing that could force fans to see the 2018 season as a failure would be injuries similar to Burger’s that limit the top prospects from developing. These injuries and ailments aren’t likely to become commonplace for the White Sox, who have been one of the better teams at avoiding injuries over the past few season. Even though times seem dark due to injury, fans shouldn’t forget how much youth and potential will still be on the 2018 squad.
The next game for the Chicago White Sox is against the Chicago Cubs at 2:05 pm Central time with Carson Fulmer and Jon Lester opposing each other on the mound.