Kopech, ranked as the No. 16 overall prospect in Major League Baseball by ESPN's Kiley McDaniel, is scheduled to start the game and pitch one inning against the Texas Rangers.
"I feel like I've taken it pretty much day by day, step by step, the way I wanted to," Kopech told reporters, according to MLB.com. "I mean, the closer we got to closing in on it, I started to feel a little more anxious, a little more excited, a little more worked up -- in a good way, though, just because I hadn't been out there in so long. So it's a lot of excitement going on for me.
"I've been a normal guy all camp. I just haven't pitched as much. I've thrown bullpens on schedule, thrown my live BPs. I feel like a part of the team, just now actually get to really feel like it."
Kopech is known for his high-velocity fastball that can reach as high as 100 mph, but he says he's now more comfortable with his secondary pitches and is "focused on pitching rather than throwing."