Bryce Harper is excited to play ball. Maybe a bit too excited.

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Bryce Harper has suited up for the instructional league and was asked if he’s ready to play:

“I am going to dive and scratch and claw. I will try to catch every ball
out there. I am going to be a Kelly Leak kind of guy. I will use my arm
to the fullest. I will try to back pick guys like I have. My game is
not going to change. I am going to give 120 percent and have a little
bit of fun.”

I assume by the “Kelly Leak kind of guy” that he means he’s going to smoke cigarettes, ride a Harley and develop a crush on the team’s ace starting pitcher.

I guess that would make things interesting in Washington, but it might throw Strasburg off his game.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.