Bad news for Chris Archer and the Pittsburgh Pirates: the team just announced that Archer has been shut down until 2021 after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery.
Thoracic outlet surgery, which has become more common in baseball in recent years, is nothing approaching routine. Lots of pitchers have never come back from it or have not come back in anything approaching their previous form.
Archer was shut down late in the 2019 season due to shoulder discomfort. This after posting a 3-9 record in 23 starts and a 5.19 ERA, in 119.2 innings pitched. He pitched in two innings during spring training.
Archer, who originally came up and starred for the Tampa Bay Rays, was traded to the Pirates in the summer of 2018 for Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows, and a player to be named later who ended up being minor leaguer Shane Baz. That was already a trade that heavily-favored the Rays. Now it looks even worse for the Pirates in hindsight.
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.