SAN DIEGO — White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech had surgery Thursday to address an issue with the meniscus in his right knee, a team spokesman said Saturday before the team’s game against the Padres at Petco Park.
A source confirmed the surgery, which was performed in Los Angeles, was for a meniscus tear. The Sox said Kopech will be ready for spring training without limitations. He has joined the team in San Diego this weekend.
Kopech landed on the injured list Sept. 17 with right shoulder inflammation but has dealt with issues in both knees, including a cyst in the right one which general manager Rick Hahn said last week would be removed during the offseason. The cyst was addressed during surgery and is not expected to be an issue now, per the club.
Kopech left a start against the Rangers after 13 pitches on June 12 after he felt a pop in the left knee, but after having fluid drained he was pitching again seven days later. On Aug. 23, he went on the IL with a left knee strain.
Kopech pitched a career high 119 2/3 innings, going 5-9 with a 3.54 ERA in his first season as a starter.
Dylan Cease’s final start of a Cy Young Award caliber did not end well. Trying to build a portfolio that will likely come up slightly behind Justin Verlander’s, Cease allowed four runs in five-plus innings against the Padres.
Cease allowed Juan Soto’s 27th home run in the first, then strung together four scoreless innings before allowing a two-run homer to Jake Cronenworth that broke a 1-all tie in the sixth. He walked Brandon Drury and Josh Bell before getting pulled at 104 pitches.
Cease’s ERA inched up to 2.20 after entering at 2.06, the second best mark in the majors behind Verlander. He recorded his fifth strikeout of the game and his career-high 227th of the season getting Austin Nola in the fifth. He allowed four walks and five hits.
“He’s been so consistent,” acting manager Miguel Cairo said. “He came with a purpose to get better and to be good and to be an elite pitcher and that’s what he has been doing.
“He always comes with a challenge, he always comes through.”
Verlander, 39, is 17-4 with a 1.80 ERA.
Love for Pito
Jose Abreu had a rare night off. If he doesn’t return next year, the 35-year-old first baseman could have four games left in a Sox uniform. He will be a free agent after the season.
“I know, man. I really hope they sign him back,” Cairo said. “I hope he comes back and gets a chance to play for the White Sox and finish his career here, but you know how it is. It’s a business. You don’t know what’s going to happen.”
After Lance Lynn starts the series finale against the Padres Sunday, Johnny Cueto (Monday), Lucas Giolito (Tuesday) and Davis Martin (Wednesday) make the last three of the season against the Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Elvis, home run sighting
Elvis Andrus’ leadoff homer in the first against Mike Clevinger was the Sox’ second in the last five games.