TA talks suspension; Kopech deals in debut

April 1st, 2022

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Here are three takeaways from Thursday’s White Sox Cactus League action, an 8-2 win over the Reds.

Anderson talks season-opening suspension
Tim Anderson
will be with the White Sox for the 2022 season opener in Detroit on April 8 -- but the White Sox shortstop and offensive igniter will not be part of the starting lineup.

Anderson informed the media Thursday that his three-game suspension and $10,000 fine handed down by Major League Baseball for making contact with umpire Tim Timmons during an 8-7 victory over the Tigers on Sept. 27 has been reduced to two games. MLB has not announced the reduction.

The whole incident began in the ninth at the game in Detroit when José Abreu was hit by an 0-2 pitch from Tigers reliever Alex Lange. Abreu tried to take second base when the next pitch to Yasmani Grandal got away, sliding hard into Niko Goodrum at second as he was thrown out. Abreu and Goodrum had words when he stood up, but Abreu told the media it was Lange’s comments that set him off after the play.

As the benches and bullpens emptied, Anderson said he was inadvertently pushed by Timmons as the umpired tried to break up the scrum. Anderson pushed back, not knowing it was an umpire who had pushed him.

“I would probably do the same thing in the situation, because I didn’t know it was him,” said Anderson prior to collecting two hits on Thursday night. “Obviously, if I had known it was him, I wouldn’t push him. Because I didn’t see no face or anything, he was kind of under me.

“I kind of pushed back, and once I saw his face, it was him. But it was too late.”

After making five straight Opening Day starts at shortstop for the White Sox, Anderson seems at peace with missing the first two games in Detroit.

“I’m going to be in Chicago. I don’t care about Detroit fans,” said Anderson with a laugh of the home opener on April 12. “I’ll be there on Opening Day in Chicago. It’s just two of 162.”

Kopech’s strong debut
 allowed one run over two innings, while striking out two and topping out at 98 mph in his first 2022 Cactus League start Thursday night. The lone run and hit came on the second pitch of the game, a leadoff homer from the Reds' Jonathan India.

“The second pitch I’ve thrown this spring and I didn’t throw it with much conviction,” Kopech said. “Big league hitters, it’s going to happen if you don’t throw a pitch with conviction. Welcomed me back real quick. After that, I felt that I settled in and started throwing stuff with a little more intensity behind it and I felt pretty good.

“It’s obviously been a slow build for me this spring. But getting back out there and competing again, it felt good. That’s really all I can ask.”

Kopech felt as if he could have gone another inning when he was lifted, but understood that isn't an option during Spring Training. He’ll start in the Cactus League finale Tuesday afternoon against the Padres and could be lined up for the home opener on April 12 against the Rays. He didn’t want to speculate yet as to what he could provide the White Sox early if he broke as part of the rotation.

“Hopefully I can continue making strides and by the time I hit the season, things are ironed out and I'm ready to go,” Kopech said. “I put high expectations on myself, so I don't know if me setting goals here with you guys is necessarily the best idea for me. I expect a lot from myself, and I wouldn't expect anything different from the fans.”

Haseley’s a hit
The first White Sox at-bat for , acquired from the Phillies in a trade on Tuesday, resulted in a single dropped over third during a five-run second inning on Thursday night. The left-handed-hitting outfielder, who started in left, followed with a walk leading off the fourth.

“Yeah, just kind of jump in,” Haseley said before the tune-up. “It’s been a shortened spring so far, but a good spring of staying healthy and being on the field and getting ready for the season. Looking forward to it.”

“Sometimes a change of scenery is good for players,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said of Haseley getting a chance in Chicago. “Great kid. Works really hard. He was doing everything we asked of him. It might be good for him. He’s going to get an opportunity there.”