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Smith to honor Webb with newborn's name

Former White Sox reliever tragically killed in ATV accident last year
MLB.com @scottmerkin

ANAHEIM -- At some time in the next week, Kevan Smith and wife, Jessica, will welcome their first child into the world.

It will be a special time for the Smith family. But the Smiths' son also will be forever tied to their close friend Daniel Webb, the former White Sox reliever whose life came to a tragic end on Oct. 14 when he was killed during an all-terrain-vehicle accident at his ranch in Waverly, Tenn. That accident took place the same day as a big party there celebrating Webb's marriage to his wife, Melissa, which had taken place a few weeks earlier.

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ANAHEIM -- At some time in the next week, Kevan Smith and wife, Jessica, will welcome their first child into the world.

It will be a special time for the Smith family. But the Smiths' son also will be forever tied to their close friend Daniel Webb, the former White Sox reliever whose life came to a tragic end on Oct. 14 when he was killed during an all-terrain-vehicle accident at his ranch in Waverly, Tenn. That accident took place the same day as a big party there celebrating Webb's marriage to his wife, Melissa, which had taken place a few weeks earlier.

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"His name was Robert Wyatt McDaniel Webb," said Smith of an individual he considered a brother. "We are going to go with Wyatt Daniel [for their son's name].

"So that will be pretty cool to honor him. I'll be able to tell my son a lot of stories about the guy. Him and I were really close. He's a great man, a great person, a great guy to remember."

Kevan and Jessica stayed for a month after the accident in Tennessee with Melissa, who also was injured but has recovered well, according to Smith. Webb and Smith had an outdoors trip planned to Montana two days after the wedding, a trip Smith eventually took with his wife.

During that excursion, Smith got a really nice elk while hunting. He also believes that trip is where their son was conceived.

"He knew we had been trying. You can't make that story up," Smith said. "It's a great example of seeing how so many good things can come from something so horrible. He's shown us all plenty of ways he's still around and watching us. Just keeping an eye on all of us."

The Webbs have a daughter, Kimber, who Smith describes as Melissa's "heart and soul." Webb's legacy lives on through Kimber and an older daughter, but as the Smiths found out three months after finding out Jessica was pregnant, their son will also play an important part in Webb's legacy.

"This was just kind of very emotional and very I guess relieving," said the 30-year-old Smith. "But just Webby kind of showing up. We are thrilled, very excited, just blessed."

No arrival date set for Kopech
Inclement weather moved Michael Kopech's start for Triple-A Charlotte from Wednesday to Thursday against Scranton Wilkes-Barre. The 22-year-old and No. 2 White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline, has allowed two earned runs over his last 12 innings pitched, while striking out 20 and walking two.

But per White Sox manager Rick Renteria, the development continues to lead to an eventual big league arrival, presenting Kopech's greatest challenge.

"The reality is that you are trying to get them as comfortable as possible at the highest level they have been playing to, which at this point is Triple-A," Renteria said. "Once they get here, there is a learning curve for everything they will be able to do across the board. It's a tremendous grind at the Major League level.

"When guys get here they start to understand it. Everything you do matters. Every pitch you make matters. Every aspect of your routine and preparation matters. You really don't understand it until you get here and I think that will ultimately be the biggest obstacle for them. There will be some bumps and bruises. They will have some success or failures.

"Their mentality, their mindset, their drive, will help them overcome some of those things," Renteria said. "They will be fine. We have a chance to have some really good payers here in the near future."

Third to first
• In a brief pregame moment defining Yolmer Sanchez's exceptional humor, the third baseman took a reporter's notebook Wednesday and offered to do an interview for him. Jose Abreu was the subject, with Abreu sitting down for two questions. Sanchez asked the questions, wrote down the answers and then translated them before giving back the notebook.

• Right-hander Asher Wojciechowski was signed by the White Sox organization and was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte. Wojciechowski, 29, has a 6.64 ERA over 30 big league games with the Reds and Astros.

Danny Farquhar made a pregame visit to see his teammates Wednesday.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox