GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Michael Kopech's second Cactus League start turned out better than his first.After allowing four runs on three hits in one inning against the Mariners on Feb. 28, Kopech allowed one run on three hits over three innings and fanned four in a 10-8 loss to the Rangers
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Michael Kopech's second Cactus League start turned out better than his first.
After allowing four runs on three hits in one inning against the Mariners on Feb. 28, Kopech allowed one run on three hits over three innings and fanned four in a 10-8 loss to the Rangers at Camelback Ranch on Sunday.
That one run scored within the first three pitches thrown by Kopech. Aside from the positive statistics, Kopech also felt more comfortable on the mound. He had a simulated game in between these two starts where he worked on repeatability with his pitches with pitching coach Don Cooper and placed a specific focus on the changeup.
"Yeah, I only threw four or five [changeups] today, but the four or five that I threw were effective, where I wanted them," said Kopech, whose fastball ranged from 95-101 mph and averaged 98 mph. He also threw 38 of his 62 pitches for strikes.
"Even the ones that were balls, I still put them where I wanted them. They just laid off. I was happy with it today."
The hard-throwing right-hander struck out Joey Gallo, Will Middlebrooks and James Loney in the first after allowing two hits to start the game. He has respect for these Major League hitters but views them as just another opponent when he's on the mound.
"Ideally, I want to be a Major League pitcher so facing Major League hitters is part of it," Kopech said. "But you know, it's just about making adjustments to their adjustments.
"They are going to adjust to a pitch that you may not have someone adjust to in Double-A. If I miss a spot just a little bit up or a little bit in, or wherever the case may be, it could be taken advantage of here. Trying to correct that so I don't have to deal with that when I get to the big league level."
"I'm extremely eager to be a big leaguer," said Kopech, who will break camp with either Double-A Birmingham or Class A Winston-Salem. "It's the ultimate goal and the ultimate goal is to dominate at the big league level for me."
World Baseball Classic update
Brad Goldberg threw scoreless baseball over two-thirds of an inning Saturday night during Team Israel's victory over Cuba in the World Baseball Classic. Minor Leaguer Alex Katz has made two scoreless appearances for the 4-0 Israel squad.
Player Page for David Robertson. Nate Jones (Team USA), Giovanni Soto (Puerto Rico) and Gregory Infante (Venezuela) also have been unscored upon in World Baseball Classic relief. Miguel Gonzalez allowed four runs in four innings, striking out four, starting for Mexico.
He said it
"We like aggressive baserunning but recklessness is not a key to being aggressive." -- manager Rick Renteria, who has liked the team's baserunning this spring but was not happy with Sunday afternoon's mistakes.
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.