Demoting struggling Gregory Polanco to Triple-A “hasn’t even been a conversation” for the Pirates

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Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco mostly struggled as a rookie last season and is hitting poorly again this season, but general manager Neal Huntington told Paul Zeise of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette that sending the 23-year-old back to the minors “hasn’t even been a conversation.”

Baseball America ranked Polanco as the No. 10 prospect in MLB coming into last season and he debuted at age 22, but he’s hit just .233 with a .640 OPS through 166 career games. Polanco’s speed and defense remain assets for the Pirates, but he’s just not hitting.

Pirates manager Clint Hurdle benched the left-handed-hitting Polanco versus a right-handed pitcher Sunday and Huntington noted that “we believe Gregory Polanco is going to be a quality major league player, but there are growing pains.”

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.