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Michael Kopech needs Tommy John surgery, will miss 2019 season

John Tomase
September 07, 2018 - 6:16 pm

Chicago White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech, one of the centerpieces of the trade that brought Chris Sale to Boston, needs Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and is expected to miss the 2019 season.

"It's been a whirlwind of emotions for me," Kopech told reporters, including the Chicago Tribune. "This is rock bottom. To say it was unexpected is an understatement."

Kopech was scheduled to start on Wednesday against the Tigers, but felt tightness in his elbow. He started anyway and delivered the worst start of his young career, allowing nine hits, seven runs, and four homers while exhibiting noticeably decreased velocity from the 100 mph he threw in the minor leagues.

A followup exam on Friday revealed a tear of his ulnar collateral ligament which will almost certainly require surgery, though the White Sox plan to seek a second opinion.

Kopech finishes the season 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA. He went 1-0 with a 0.82 in his first three starts before Wednesday's disastrous outing.