Matt Harrison throws for first time since May

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Rangers starter Matt Harrison underwent lumbar disc fusion surgery last June to correct a lingering back problem. The procedure has been called career-threatening, but Harrison isn’t giving up hope that he will be able to pitch again at the major league level.

According to Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Harrison picked up a baseball Wednesday for the first time since last May, making 30 throws from 30 feet, 25 throws from 40 feet, and then finishing the workout with another 10 throws from 30 feet. “My back’s fine,” he told Wilson afterward.

Harrison registered an excellent 3.34 ERA (132 ERA+) in 399 innings for the Rangers between 2011-2012. He pitched just 28 innings between 2013-2014. Texas still owes him $41.6 million.

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.