Ryan Braun back in Thursday’s lineup

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After missing two straight starts due to a lingering right thumb injury, Ryan Braun is back in the Brewers’ starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Marlins.

Braun has been dealing with a nerve problem in his thumb dating back to the beginning of the season, but Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said earlier this week that it has now morphed into a full-blown hand issue. It sounds like he’ll be evaluated on a day-to-day basis moving forward. The injury has cleared impacted his production at the plate, as he’s batting just .229 with seven homers and a .676 OPS since the All-Star break.

With Braun back in the lineup tonight, the Brewers have the hot-hitting Gerardo Parra in left field while Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that Khris Davis is getting the night off due to a minor forearm injury. The Brewers begin play tonight at 75-71, 1 1/2 games behind the Pirates for the second Wild Card spot in the National League. The Braves are also 1 1/2 games back.

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.