White Sox' Michael Kopech hits injured list with hamstring strain

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Sox send Kopech to injured list with strained hamstring originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Michael Kopech will miss at least the Chicago White Sox next two series as he deals with a strained hamstring.

The fireballing right-hander hurt himself last week, when he took an awkward-looking fall on the mound and came up hobbling in Wednesday's series finale against the St. Louis Cardinals. Placed on the bereavement list the next day, the White Sox didn't have an update past day-to-day hamstring soreness until Monday, when their prized pitcher hit the 10-day IL with a strain.

That will keep Kopech out until at least June 8, the start of a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays on the South Side.

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Kopech has been an incredibly effective weapon for the White Sox while pitching mostly out of the bullpen and making the occasional spot start in his first season back after missing the entirety of the last two campaigns. Deployed as a multi-inning reliever, as well as in higher-leverage spots toward the ends of games, Kopech has a 1.72 ERA in 31.1 innings of work.

He's been strong as a spot starter, too, taking the ball in the White Sox sizable amount of doubleheaders prior to this weekend and helping to save the rest of the bullpen and keep the rotation on regular rest. That changed this weekend, with Kopech unavailable to start in either Saturday's doubleheader sweep of the Baltimore Orioles or Monday's twin bill against the Cleveland Indians.

The White Sox turned to Jimmy Lambert for the second game of Monday's doubleheader in Ohio, making him the 27th man on their roster for Memorial Day. Kopech's spot on the active roster was taken by Ryan Burr when he went on the bereavement list, and Burr remains on the active roster with Kopech switching to the injured list Monday.

Moving forward, the White Sox will need to call on others in their 'pen to soak up Kopech's workload, perhaps meaning more arms to call on across would have typically been multi-inning efforts for Kopech. But with the righty still on track to become a starting pitcher at some point, he was often given multiple days of rest between relief outings, hardly an everyday or every-other-day problem for Tony La Russa & Co. to work around.

But with how good Kopech has been — and with the White Sox seemingly unable to avoid doubleheaders — being without him will be an obvious blow.

Kopech's strained hamstring is the latest of the many hamstring injuries to plague the White Sox this season. Tim Anderson and Billy Hamilton each had brief injured-list stays while overcoming hamstring strains. Adam Engel has been working his way back from a more serious strain since the middle of spring training. And Adam Eaton has missed time recently after being lifted from a game last week with a tight hamstring.

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