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Lance McCullers could need elbow surgery

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Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said Monday that Lance McCullers could need surgery on his right elbow.

McCullers pitched fantastically when healthy last season, but on August 4 he suffered what was then termed a “forearm strain” and hit the disabled list, missing the rest of August and most of September. When he returned he was limited to bullpen duty and told the press he was “working through some things.”

Luhnow now admits that those “things” are in his elbow, not his forearm, and that could mean surgery that will cost him his entire 2019 season.

In 2018 McCullers tossed a career-high 128.1 innings in 22 starts and three relief appearances. His strikeout rate held steady at ten for every nine innings pitched and he allowed fewer hits per nine, which offset a slight uptick in his walk rate. The development of his changeup this season complemented his signature curve quite well, and looked to elevate him from good to great.

Unfortunately, injury may sidetrack his career. Maybe even for a year. We won’t know for sure until later this week, most likely.

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.