The Royals got a bit of a scare a little while ago, as right-hander Yordano Ventura exited his Opening Day start against the White Sox after going down in a heap after throwing a pitch in the seventh inning.
Fortunately, it turned out to not be a big deal. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star says that it was a right thumb cramp and the team trainer “does not consider it serious.” Crisis averted.
Ventura, who signed a five-year, $23 million extension with the Royals over the weekend, allowed one run (a solo homer by Jose Abreu) over six-plus innings before exiting. It was his first career Opening Day assignment.
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.