On Saturday, Joel Sherman and Andrew Marchan reported for the New York Post that Opening Day of the 2020 MLB regular season could feature Nationals ace Max Scherzer against new Yankees ace Gerrit Cole in Washington, D.C. Nothing has been finalized yet, however. Sherman and Marchand note that MLB doesn’t plan to have its schedule finalized for another week or two.
MLB’s schedule is a heck of a balancing act and is even more so considering the pandemic. Florida, Texas, and Arizona are among the many states that have seen a surge in new COVID-19 cases. MLB must also factor in potential relocation if some states become too dangerous to play in.
The 2020 regular season will be 60 games, including 40 intra-division games and 20 regional interleague games for each team. There have been many rule changes along with the makeshift season. Craig went over them last week here. Players will report to “spring” training in their home cities on Wednesday, July 1. The regular season is expected to begin on July 23.
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.