As he makes his return to the mound in 2020, Michael Kopech may not be quite the fireballer he once was.
The Chicago White Sox pitcher told reporters Wednesday that he plans to be more conservative with his velocity after his 2018 Tommy John surgery.
“I don’t know if I’m necessarily going to be that type of power pitcher again in my career,” said Kopech, per Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I’m going to be a little bit smarter and cautious. … But that being said, velocity will always be a part of my game.”
The 23-year-old Kopech, who used to regularly touch 100 miles per hour, suffered a UCL tear in his pitching elbow in September 2018 and underwent the procedure. His recovery sidelined him for the entire 2019 campaign as well.
Kopech’s long-term health is obviously the biggest priority here, and at least his flame-throwing exploits will live on forever in internet lore.