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Cardinals may have to rework NLDS rotation after Jaime Garcia’s early exit

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Update (7:04 PM EDT): Garcia was removed due to a stomach virus, per the Cardinals.

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Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia was only able to last two innings during Game 2 of the NLDS against the Cubs. He worked around a one-out double to Jorge Soler in the first inning, but the Cardinals’ defense fell apart. The Cubs scored three runs without hitting a ball past the infield, and Jorge Soler added insult to injury when he blasted a two-run home run to center field to make it 5-1.

Garcia’s final line after 45 pitches: 2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (0 ER), 1 BB, 2 K. Lance Lynn took the hill in the third inning in relief, but ran into trouble of his own. He walked Anthony Rizzo to lead off the inning, then Starlin Castro hit a line drive to right field on a hit-and-run to put runners on the corners. Lynn bounced back to strike out Austin Jackson, but Miguel Montero was able to bring in a run on a ground out to make it 6-1.

Lynn was on track to start Game 4, but because he had to take over for Garcia in Game 2, the Cardinals may tab John Lackey start Game 4 instead, as Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch notes. They could also call on Tyler Lyons for a start.

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.