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2021 Plan for Kopech and Crochet

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These topics are somewhat being discussed in other threads, but what should the plan be for these two guys next year?

Kopech will surely start in the minors.  Will they begin by having him make 2/3 inning starts?  How many innings can he pitch next year?  If all goes perfect, is the goal to have him part of a playoff rotation?

And how about Crochet?  Is he a bullpen guy all next year?  Will he be stretched out in the minors as a starter and then become a bullpen option in the playoffs?

I'd like to hear what you guys think. @Y2Jimmy0?

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1 minute ago, SoxBlanco said:

These topics are somewhat being discussed in other threads, but what should the plan be for these two guys next year?

Kopech will surely start in the minors.  Will they begin by having him make 2/3 inning starts?  How many innings can he pitch next year?  If all goes perfect, is the goal to have him part of a playoff rotation?

And how about Crochet?  Is he a bullpen guy all next year?  Will he be stretched out in the minors as a starter and then become a bullpen option in the playoffs?

I'd like to hear what you guys think. @Y2Jimmy0?

Like others have said, if you're going to stretch out Crochet, you kinda have to do it in the minors. He hasn't thrown enough innings as a starter. The other thing they have to do is monitor how his stuff is as a starter, if he drops down to topping out at 94 mph and gets lit up like a christmas tree, then......dude is a reliever, and that's that. 

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ASSUMING WE HAVE A NORMAL-ISH SEASON

Kopech starts at Charlotte and works up slowly to 5 to 6 innings, and comes up around June unless other problems dictate an earlier arrival.

Crochet starts at Birmingham as a stater, working mostly 75 to 80 pitches an outing getting around a dozen starts between AA and AAA before evenutally coming up as a reliever, to finish the season.  He ends up somewhere between 100-120 innings this year.

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Bullpen guy all year for Crochet, Kopech starting off in minors seems to be very likely.

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I could see a plan similar to Sale for Crochet.  Pitch out of the bullpen in 2021, and become a starter in 2022.

I agree that Kopech will likely start in the minors, but he could quickly make his way to the Sox is his recovery was successful, and his year off didn't harm him.

Regardless, both have the potential to be huge parts of the success of the Sox moving forward.

Edited by hogan873
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5 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

Kopech starts at Charlotte and works up slowly to 5 to 6 innings, and comes up around June unless other problems dictate an earlier arrival.

Will that plan allow him to finish out the year with the Sox as a starter without limitations? I'm not really sure what his innings limit will be.

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I would hope and imagine they slowly ramp up Kopech to 6 innings a start, and keep his innings low enough to where he can pitch as a starter in the playoffs.

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13 minutes ago, hogan873 said:

I could see a plan similar to Sale for Crochet.  Pitch out of the bullpen in 2021, and become a starter in 2022.

I agree that Kopech will likely start in the minors, but he could quickly make his way to the Sox is his recovery was successful, and his year off didn't harm him.

Regardless, both have the potential to be huge parts of the success of the Sox moving forward.

I think they need to start stretching out Crochet as a starter now. Once playoff time comes, they can always pitch him out of the bullpen.

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If I were doing it? I would start Crochet as a starter in Spring Training, get him stretched out for 5 innings. If he shows he is ready for big leaguers, I bring him up. If he isn't, then send him to whatever minor league affiliate is appropriate for a short stretch, with Lopez or FA signee holding that rotation spot.

He then pitches...with a limit of  ~100 innings. Once he gets to 100 innings, he gets shut down for a time, and then after some rest break with only bullpen sessions, is moved to the team's bullpen for a stretch run. Gives him a shot at ~125-ish innings, maybe a few more if playoffs are possible. 

Kopech is treated the opposite. He starts in Charlotte, with a goal of slowly ramping up his innings. If he performs well enough and his innings are limited enough, he comes up in ~July and takes Crochet's rotation spot as he's shut down. Thus, between Crochet and Kopech, you have a shot at getting almost a full pitcher between them in the rotation while still maintaining innings limits, and could have Kopech available to start games in the playoffs if needed.

 

What do I think will happen? LaRussa is going to insist that Crochet is going to be his closer after the team doesn't spend the money to sign a veteran one, and Crochet spends the season in the bullpen.

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I understand the theory of clawing back a year from Kopech, but otherwise why would you want him wasting a limited amount of bullets in AAA?  If he's only gonna throw 90-110 innings this year, don't you want them in the majors?

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Just now, Timmy U said:

I understand the theory of clawing back a year from Kopech, but otherwise why would you want him wasting a limited amount of bullets in AAA?  If he's only gonna throw 90-110 innings this year, don't you want them in the majors?

He hasn't pitched in a live game in 2 years. Also, to get an extra year of control.

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Just now, Yearnin' for Yermin said:

He hasn't pitched in a live game in 2 years. Also, to get an extra year of control.

I understand extra year of control, but the reports are he's throwing the heck out of the ball.  Managing his innings is going to be the challenge.  I do not believe that come Opening Day the White Sox will have 13 pitchers more effective than Michael Kopech.  I say, let him throw his 90-110 innings in the majors.  Imagine him as a three-inning Opener, followed by three innings of Crochet instead of having a 5th starter.  I wouldn't want to face that.

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6 minutes ago, Timmy U said:

I understand the theory of clawing back a year from Kopech, but otherwise why would you want him wasting a limited amount of bullets in AAA?  If he's only gonna throw 90-110 innings this year, don't you want them in the majors?

I think the idea is that if you're going to slowly work up to 6 innings with Kopech, you can't do that with the major league team. You're not going to have him making 2 or 3 innings starts early in the year and have that affect your major league bullpen. That has to happen in AAA. 

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8 minutes ago, Yearnin' for Yermin said:

I think they need to start stretching out Crochet as a starter now. Once playoff time comes, they can always pitch him out of the bullpen.

He only has 132 innings pitched in college. I really doubt they could pull a Sale with him. Sale unbelievably went from a reliever to 192 IP the next season. It really was incredible. I had MLBN on a couple of years ago and they had a Texas Ranger talking about Sale when he was a White Sox and had a start against them. He said they knew Sale’s elbow was bothering him so much he wouldn’t throw a slider, and they still didn’t touch him. The guy even pitched hurt. He is a one in a lifetime. 
With Crochet, the Sox either need to shit or get off the pot with him. If he is going to be a starter, I think you are correct, he needs to be in the minor leagues getting stretched out. If he is the next Chapman, hopefully he holds up. His playoff injury may have spooked them. If you recall, Sale had an injury concern and KW announced he would be going back to the bullpen. Sale called and yelled and changed KWs mind. I don’t know if Crochet has that in him.

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33 minutes ago, southsider2k5 said:

ASSUMING WE HAVE A NORMAL-ISH SEASON

Kopech starts at Charlotte and works up slowly to 5 to 6 innings, and comes up around June unless other problems dictate an earlier arrival.

Crochet starts at Birmingham as a stater, working mostly 75 to 80 pitches an outing getting around a dozen starts between AA and AAA before evenutally coming up as a reliever, to finish the season.  He ends up somewhere between 100-120 innings this year.

Yep. And its a lot easier to manage the workload and innings in the minors. I agree with all of this.

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14 minutes ago, Timmy U said:

I understand the theory of clawing back a year from Kopech, but otherwise why would you want him wasting a limited amount of bullets in AAA?  If he's only gonna throw 90-110 innings this year, don't you want them in the majors?

When we last saw Kopech in 2019, he started the season with extremely poor control, including an outing in June where he walked 7 in ~3 innings. Then, all of a sudden in late June, everything clicked for him and his walks per game dropped to something like 0-2, and he dominated for ~10 outings before being called up.

Even if he has a complete spring training and looks great, I want to see several weeks of him against live, competitive batters in Charlotte before the step to the big leagues again, because I feel like the odds are high he would struggle with the control and feel unless we give him that time, and a competitive roster can't have him walking 5 people in 3 innings more than a few times.

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The other thing with Crochet is we have no idea how he would hold up with a regular bullpen workload. We saw him pitch 6 innings after pitching 3 in college and spending time at an alternate site. 
 

He looked about as good as you can look for 6 innings. 

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My completely hair-brained idea is to pair them up on the major league roster and have Crochet-Kopech days.

More logical: Similar to Balta's plan, but Crochet in AA, Kopech in AAA. Once Crochet has 100 IP, he comes to solidify the MLB bullpen. Kopech is kept in AAA until he's at 6+ innings consistently (minimum 3 starts), then he's up. 

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Listened to Katz on the Garfien podcast. Based on what he said and how he said it, I think Kopech is a major part of the big league plans in 2021 but he said the main thing is making sure they don't burn him out. I think they will do everything they can to try to make sure his arm is still feeling good come playoff time, because they expect him to be a factor in the playoff rotation.  However, if he is showing signs of fatigue they will prioritize his future rather than forcing him to pitch through it just to try to win in 2021.

He also raved about Crochet and mentioned he is a part of the big league team in 2021 but didn't give too many details. I'd expect him to start in Birmingham as a starter and come up late in the season as a bullpen piece.

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I had both Kopech and Crochet in the AAA rotation to begin the year along with Stiever, Vargus, and Lopez.  They both need to pitch some innings and gain command in a less pressure packed environment.  I would keep them there, as starters, until they showed me they are ready for the majors and then plug them in to your 4/5 rotation positions.  The Sox should go out and fill their current rotation and bullpen holes with free agent signings or maybe a trade for MLB pitchers and let these two learn their craft before being rushed to the show.  That's how I would extend my competitive window out past Keuchel and Lynn.

 

 

 

 

i

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3 minutes ago, roto said:

I had both Kopech and Crochet in the AAA rotation to begin the year along with Stiever, Vargus, and Lopez.  They both need to pitch some innings and gain command in a less pressure packed environment.  I would keep them there, as starters, until they showed me they are ready for the majors and then plug them in to your 4/5 rotation positions.  The Sox should go out and fill their current rotation and bullpen holes with free agent signings or maybe a trade for MLB pitchers and let these two learn their craft before being rushed to the show.  That's how I would extend my competitive window out past Keuchel and Lynn.

 

 

 

 

i

I don’t think Lopez has any options left.

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4 hours ago, Quin said:

My completely hair-brained idea is to pair them up on the major league roster and have Crochet-Kopech days.

More logical: Similar to Balta's plan, but Crochet in AA, Kopech in AAA. Once Crochet has 100 IP, he comes to solidify the MLB bullpen. Kopech is kept in AAA until he's at 6+ innings consistently (minimum 3 starts), then he's up. 

Gotta say I would be lining up for tickets for the Crochet-Kopech days.   Imagine 3 innings of 100 mile heat from the left followed by 3 inning of 100 mile heat from the right.  

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4 hours ago, southsider2k5 said:

ASSUMING WE HAVE A NORMAL-ISH SEASON

Kopech starts at Charlotte and works up slowly to 5 to 6 innings, and comes up around June unless other problems dictate an earlier arrival.

Crochet starts at Birmingham as a stater, working mostly 75 to 80 pitches an outing getting around a dozen starts between AA and AAA before evenutally coming up as a reliever, to finish the season.  He ends up somewhere between 100-120 innings this year.

Sounds like the best for each.

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I hope both are brought along slowly in the minors, until they are ready to be called up and pitch without restrictions for the rest of the season.

I am confident Katz will develop a solid 2021 game plan, with the objective to have both ready to start the 2022 season without restrictions.

The Sox have enough depth now to get to June or July using Cease and Lopez until then. Adding one more starter ensures the team doesn’t have to deviate in the event of a major injury over the first several starts of the season.

Win now should mean a window over the next 4-5 years, not win this year or bust before Jerry and/or Tony die.

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