Denard Span cleared for post-surgery rehab assignment

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Jayson Werth came off the disabled list and returned to the Nationals’ lineup Monday and he may soon be joined in the outfield by Denard Span.

Span, who had offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia and then had another surgery in mid-March for a core muscle injury, has now been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Double-A.

Span was initially given a 4-6 week recovery timetable on March 9, so barring any setbacks he’s right on schedule. Michael Taylor has been filling in as the Nationals’ center fielder and leadoff man, but the 24-year-old rookie is just 6-for-29 (.207) with 11 strikeouts through seven games.

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.