GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The first starts for highly touted prospects Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez during split-squad action against the Mariners and Reds, respectively, on Tuesday didn't go exactly as planned.Kopech, the No. 16 prospect overall per MLBPipeline.com, allowed four runs on three hits in one inning while striking out
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The first starts for highly touted prospects Michael Kopech and Reynaldo Lopez during split-squad action against the Mariners and Reds, respectively, on Tuesday didn't go exactly as planned.
Kopech, the No. 16 prospect overall per MLBPipeline.com, allowed four runs on three hits in one inning while striking out two in an 8-1 loss to Seattle in Glendale. Lopez, the No. 46 prospect, yielded five runs on four hits in 1 1/3 innings, throwing 22 of his 37 pitches for strikes in Goodyear in Chicago's 10-9 come-from-behind win.
Of course, it's more about the process than the results for these young hurlers.
"We don't feel that pressure. We just try to do our job," said Lopez through interpreter Billy Russo. "We are not desperate to show people what we can do, because we know what we can do. We just try to do what we are supposed to do."
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"For the most part, I was able to put stuff in the zone," Kopech said. "Just the fact that when I did miss small, I would get myself behind in counts, and when I get behind in counts, that's when you need to be able to execute your stuff. I got behind in a couple too many counts today and made a mistake, 0-2, and it got taken advantage of, which is expected at this level."
The mistake was a three-run homer by Mitch Haniger in Seattle's four-run first inning.
Lopez had his own 0-2 mistake, against Adam Duvall, who launched the ball over the head of center fielder Leury Garcia in Cincinnati's four-run first. Lopez also had an eight-pitch battle with Joey Votto that ended in a free pass.
"I felt good. I made very good pitches. I throw a lot of strikes," Lopez said. "I made a lot of mistakes, too. But I think it was good for my first outing."
Putnam makes his debut
It was only 1 1/3 scoreless innings for Zach Putnam against the Reds on Tuesday, but for the right-hander, it was a long wait fulfilled. Putnam's 2016 season ended when he had bone chips removed from his right elbow. Until Tuesday he had not pitched competitively since walking three batters last June 20 in Boston.
"Definitely a few things to work on, but a pretty good start for me. I'm sure I'll get plenty of work this spring. Good place to begin," Putnam said. "It's nice to have an arm that doesn't throb and kill me every time I pick up a baseball."
Third to first
• Jose Abreu, who is attending to personal matters in Florida, is expected back on Wednesday, although manager Rick Renteria said he probably won't play.
• Left-hander Carlos Rodon will throw his first bullpen session either Wednesday or Thursday, per Renteria. The White Sox have been easing Rodon into Spring Training action.
• Todd Frazier's strained left oblique responded well on Tuesday after he tested it with 35 swings and fielding 35 ground balls on Monday. Outfielder Charlie Tilson (stress reaction in his right foot) is doing better and will be able to start throwing again.
Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.