Joey Votto to have “zero limitations” in spring training

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Reds first baseman Joey Votto will have “zero limitations” on his right quadriceps when spring training begins in February, John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Votto missed nearly all of July as well as the final two months of the season due to a distal quad strain.

Votto, 31, is signed through 2023 and is still owed $213 million. While his numbers this past season were still great by objective measures, they were well below the standard that Votto has set for himself. He batted .255/.390/.409 with six home runs and 23 RBI in 272 plate appearances. The steep decline in power could very easily be explained by Votto’s quad injury, but the slugger saw his slugging percentage drop from .567 to .491 from 2012 to ’13 as well.

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.