Stephen Strasburg throws five innings in first rehab start

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Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg made his first minor-league rehab start this afternoon at Double-A, throwing five innings of two-run ball as he comes back from a strained trapezius muscle.

Strasburg struck out six, walked none, and allowed four hits on a total of 71 pitches, so it sounds like things went pretty well.

Washington might not be in a huge rush to get Strasburg back from the disabled list considering how poorly he pitched before being shut down–posting a 6.55 ERA in 10 starts–but if they think one rehab start is enough he could rejoin the rotation as soon as next 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.