Matt Holliday rejoins the Cardinals after six-week absence, Randal Grichuk moves to center field

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Matt Holliday has missed the past six weeks–including the All-Star game–with a strained quadriceps muscle, but the Cardinals left fielder is off the disabled list and back in the starting lineup tonight.

Holliday was having a very good season before the injury, hitting .303 with an .839 OPS in 52 games, but the Cardinals got excellent fill-in work from rookie Randal Grichuk in left field. Grichuk, who’ll turn 24 years old next month, has hit .277 with an .853 OPS in 59 games overall this season.

It’ll be interesting to see how manager Mike Matheny divvies up the playing time now that Holliday is back in the mix. Grichuk can play center field, allowing the Cardinals to keep him in the lineup alongside Holliday and right fielder Jason Heyward, which is exactly what Matheny is doing tonight. Light-hitting, good-fielding Peter Bourjos is on the bench.

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.