Mariners will skip Felix Hernandez’s start on Monday

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The Mariners will skip ace Felix Hernandez’s road start on Monday against the Astros, MLB.com’s Greg Garno reports. Manager Lloyd McClendon is trying to keep his ace fresh through the end of the season.

McClendon said, “I did the same thing last year to freshen my pitchers up and Felix had the best September of his career. Everybody thought I was nuts when I did, and I’ll do it again because it’s the right thing to do.”

Hernandez has struggled this season, posting a high-by-his-standards 3.66 ERA, including a 7.12 ERA over his last six starts. He allowed 11-plus hits in three of those starts.

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.