Justin Verlander excels in latest rehab start

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Tigers starter Justin Verlander struck out nine batters while allowing just one earned run in 5 2/3 innings in a rehab start with Triple-A Toledo on Saturday. The right-hander is working his way back from a strained right triceps.

MLB.com’s Jason Beck noted that Verlander topped out at 94 MPH on his fastball while mixing in his off-speed pitches. He threw 93 pitches total, inducing 17 swings and misses.

Expect Verlander to return to the Tigers to make his 2015 season debut at some point in the coming week.

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.