White Sox fans located in Chicago and Charlotte will get a glimpse into the future next week.
The White Sox announced they will promote pitching prospect Lucas Giolito to the majors and he will start in Monday's doubleheader against the Minnesota Twins. Michael Kopech, the White Sox No. 3 overall prospect, has been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte and will start on Monday night against Norfolk, the team also announced on Friday.
Giolito, who the White Sox acquired along with Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning in an offseason trade from the Washington Nationals for Adam Eaton, is MLB Pipeline's No. 59 overall prospect.
After a shaky start to begin the 2017 season, Giolito has turned the corner as of late.
In his last five starts with the Knights, Giolito has a 1.71 ERA in 31.2 innings pitched. During that span, Giolito has a 28/11 K/BB ratio and opposing hitters are slashing just .221/.288/.319. The 23-year-old Giolito has a 6-10 record with a 4.48 ERA in 24 starts in 2017.
Giolito, a former first round pick of the Nationals in 2012, had a brief stint in the majors last season and had a 6.75 ERA in six games with Washington.
Kopech, who was a key piece the White Sox acquired in a blockbuster offseason deal with the Boston Red Sox for Chris Sale, has been nothing short of dominant in the minors.
Kopech has a 0.66 ERA with 54 strikeouts and seven walks in his last 41 innings with the Birmingham Barons. In 22 minor league starts this season, Kopech has a 2.87 ERA and a 1.148 WHIP with 155 strikeouts in 119.1 innings.
Kopech is currently MLB Pipeline's No. 1 pitching prospect in the minors.
Two of the top pitchers in the White Sox farm system come on the podcast for the first time.
Winston-Salem Dash teammates Dane Dunning and Alec Hansen speak with Chuck Garfien and Ryan McGuffey about the White Sox rebuild and how they have both been dominating the competition. Dunning admits he hates to lose and talks candidly about his competitive nature, specifically the time he gave up a home run this season and threw at the same hitter in his next at-bat and was ejected from the game.
Hansen talks about his recent hot streak: 24 K, ER in his last two starts and reveals that he sees himself being at the top of the White Sox rotation in the future. Dunning and Hansen also speak at length about their teammate and budding superstar Eloy Jimenez.
Later, CSN's Chris Kamka joins the podcast to give his 2020 White Sox lineup. He sees the White Sox signing a certain free agent in 2019 named Machado but with a position change. He also predicts a big trade. That and more on this edition of the White Sox Talk Podcast.
Listen to the latest episode below:
Though the quest for a quality start continues in the majors, the White Sox have plenty going on in the minors.
While the Cubs knocked James Shields out of Wednesday’s game in the fifth inning, three White Sox minor leaguers dominated. Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech and Dane Dunning all starred for the White Sox.
Kopech led the way with 12 strikeouts in six innings with a run and two hits allowed with two walks at Double-A Birmingham. Dunning struck out six and allowed six hits in seven scoreless innings at Single-A Winston-Salem. Meanwhile, Lopez, who is making it hard for the White Sox to not promote him, struck out 10 while he allowed two earned runs and four hits at Triple-A Charlotte.
“(Lopez is) forcing the issue,” general manager Rick Hahn said. “He’s had several starts in a row that have been very impressive. Lucas Giolito, as well, has been impressive in his recent starts, and at some point here they’re likely going to force our hand to get them here to Chicago and give them the opportunity to show what they can do at the big league level.”
Shields allowed five runs (three earned) and five hits in four-plus innings for the White Sox against the Cubs. He walked three and struck out four.
White Sox starting pitchers have made just 12 quality starts in their past 56 games, posting a 5.73 ERA in that span.