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White Sox Update: Kopech to bullpen, Clevinger, Lorenzen

by Jordan Lazowski

As the White Sox start to get their roster set for Opening Day, they’ve made another big decision about their rotation a day after trading Dylan Cease to the Padres.

This morning, Chris Getz announced that the team will be moving Michael Kopech into a bullpen role to begin the season. It is unclear if there is any opportunity for him to be moved back to a starting role potentially, or if this is a permanent decision.

With the move, in addition to the $8M the White Sox are saving on Dylan Cease, the team has at least started engaging on adding either Mike Clevinger or Michael Lorenzen.

Clevinger spent the 2023 season with the White Sox, having a strong season with a 3.77 ERA and 20.0 K% in 131.1 innings. Lorenzen spent the 2023 season with the Tigers and Phillies, posting a 4.18 ERA in 153 innings. Both would serve as innings-eating backend options for the White Sox as they try and get through the 2024 season.

As for Kopech, this is a move that many people saw coming, with some skeptical as early as the initial trade back in 2016 that Kopech’s stuff would play better in the bullpen. In truth, the White Sox gave Kopech every opportunity to be a starter, but things just never seemed to click. This may be partly because Kopech has only developed two above-average pitches: his fastball and slider. His lack of command without the stellar stuff of someone like Dylan Cease has put him in a place where throwing as a reliever may be a better option for him.

Kopech’s best major league season did come out of the bullpen back in 2021 when he threw 69.1 innings with a 3.50 ERA and 36.1 K%. The White Sox are still searching for a closer with the trade of Gregory Santos, and perhaps this is where Kopech could come into play. Alternatively, he could serve as a multi-inning reliever, coming in after an Opener – perhaps Garrett Crochet while they work to build him out as a starter – to throw a few bridge innings to the back end of the team’s bullpen.

In short, there are opportunities for the White Sox to explore with Kopech’s new role. As more information becomes available on what that may be, we will continue to provide updates.

Follow us @SoxOn35th for more throughout the season

Featured Image: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

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Yes! Sign clevinger and while your at it. Sign Bauer as well


I know how unpopular WS ownership deservedly is, but I think the return Getz has managed so far is pretty decent. My belief is that this part, the de-build, is the easiest part. When money starts to matter, we’re all screwed. The trades were not insanely one sided, but at this point in yet another rebuild, the trade returns are offering a bunch of interesting lottery tickets for us to hope on. I’m just hoping they can move guys like Moncada, Eloy, and somehow Beinitendi, for something interesting after they hopefully play healthy and decently early this season.

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