Susan Slusser of The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Athletics DH Billy Butler was injured in a clubhouse altercation with teammate Danny Valencia. Butler has been absent for the last two games and Valencia was not in Sunday’s lineup, either.
The Athletics have been pretty mum about the issue, as expected. Valencia would only offer a “no comment,” and added, “What happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse.”
Manager Bob Melvin told the media on Saturday that Butler was out with nausea and vomiting, but specifically said that he wasn’t suffering from the flu. Slusser then notes that nausea and vomiting are symptoms of a concussion.
Slusser also points out that Butler and Valencia, who were also teammates with the Royals in 2014, are “known to engage in a great deal of loud banter in the clubhouse and on the field.”
Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we should soon hear more details about what happened. Right now, it’s not a good look for the Athletics.
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.