Anthony Rendon begins minor league rehab assignment

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Good news here for the Nationals, as third baseman Anthony Rendon began a minor league rehab assignment with Double-A Harrisburg last night as he works his way back from a medial collateral ligament sprain in his left knee.

Rendon, who hurt his knee on a diving play in early March, played five innings at third base last night and went 1-for-2 with a double. He told James Wagner of the Washington Post that the pain is gone in his knee and he’s now trying to shake the rust and make up for lost time.

“Everything is good,” he said. “Getting back into the swing of things and trying to feel comfortable.”

Rendon will play seven innings today before getting the day off Sunday. He’ll then play seven innings again before staying in for a full game. He could be ready to join the Nationals for the start of a four-game series against the Mets next Thursday at Citi Field.

The Nationals weren’t at full strength to begin the year and have sputtered to a 7-10 start, but getting Rendon back in the lineup will be a big lift. While he didn’t get as much attention as he deserved, he proved to be the team’s most valuable player last season by batting .287/.351/.473 with 21 home runs, 83 RBI, and 17 stolen bases.

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.