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Michael Kopech Likely Needs Tommy John Surgery to Repair Elbow Injury

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistSeptember 7, 2018

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 05:  Starting pitcher Michael Kopech #34 of the Chicago White Sox delivers the ball against the Detroit Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field on September 5, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Chicago White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech has been diagnosed with a torn UCL in his elbow, the team announced on Friday. 

Kopech will miss the entire 2019 season and is "expected to be ready for spring training in 2020."

Tommy John surgery has been recommended for the 22-year-old, but plans have not been finalized since he is scheduled to receive a second opinion in the coming days. 

"It sucks," Kopech said, according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin. "That's it. It sucks."

According to MLB.com, Kopech is the 13th-ranked prospect in baseball and the No. 2 prospect in Chicago's system. 

The fireball-throwing right-hander made his highly anticipated Major League debut against the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 21, and he didn't disappoint. Despite only lasting two innings, the 2014 first-round pick logged four strikeouts and no walks while flashing his exceptional velocity. 

Kopech picked up his first MLB win five days later against the Detroit Tigers, and he picked up a no-decision in Chicago's 6-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Aug. 31. 

However, his season ended on a sour note Wednesday when he was shelled to the tune of seven earned runs, including four home runs, across 3.1 innings against the Tigers. 

Kopech finished his first stint in the majors 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA, 15 strikeouts and two walks. 

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