While it looks like the Nationals dodged a bullet with closer Drew Storen today, third baseman Anthony Rendon remains a question mark.
Rendon suffered what was termed as a minor MCL sprain in his left knee on March 9 and Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he saw Dr. James Andrews earlier today for a second opinion. No word yet on the diagnosis, but Rendon continues to feel discomfort while doing lateral movements and it’s pretty much a given at this point that he’ll begin the season on the disabled list.
“We’ll see what the doc says, and we’ll take it from there,” general manager Mike Rizzo said following the Nationals’ exhibition game against the Cardinals. “Let’s see if it’s a concern when we hear back from the doctor.”
As Zuckerman notes, MCL injuries generally don’t require surgery, but he could be looking at an extended absence depending on what Andrews advises. Danny Espinosa will likely get the first crack at the starting third base job, which is quite a downgrade from Rendon’s MVP-level production last year.
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.