Blue Jays clear Edwin Encarnacion to begin minor league rehab assignment

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According to Chris Toman of MLB.com, the Blue Jays have cleared slugger Edwin Encarnacion to begin a minor league rehab assignment tonight with High-A Dunedin.

Encarnacion has been sidelined since July 5 with a right quad strain. His timeline got pushed back a bit following a minor setback late last month, but he now appears on track to rejoin the Blue Jays at some point next week.

Encarnacion, 31, was batting .277/.368/.591 with 26 home runs and 70 RBI over 88 games prior to the injury. The Blue Jays are 14-15 during his absence and have dropped six out of seven. They enter play this afternoon at 61-56 on the year, six games behind the Orioles in the AL East and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.

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.