As some MLB players choose to not participate in the 2020 season, it’s important to remember some things are bigger than baseball.
Chicago White Sox pitcher and former Boston Red Sox prospect Michael Kopech missed the start of camp due to a “personal matter,” and he recently made the decision to opt out of the upcoming campaign. It’s unclear exactly why Kopech opted out, but the 24-year-old has been open about his battles with anxiety and depression. For that reason, White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper expressed his concern about Kopech’s well-being.
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“I don’t know what is going on with Michael, but I know he deals with some anxiety and depression, and my thought is, I sure hope he’s OK,” Cooper told the Chicago Sun-Times. “And I hope he gets to where he needs to be, where he’s feeling good and wants to come back, because we will welcome him back with open arms.”
“Last time I saw him in spring training, he was in a great place,” Cooper added. “But let me put it this way: I sure hope the kid is OK. I’m concerned that he’s not OK.”
Kopech has not publicly discussed his decision to sit out of the upcoming season. Cooper notes the right-hander is “not in the mood to talk right now” to the media.
After missing the entire 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, Kopech was slated to compete for a spot in the White Sox rotation. Of course, his mental health comes first, and we hope he returns to Chicago’s pitching staff in 2021 under better circumstances.
“It’s Michael’s decision, and we have no idea what’s going on in his world, and as a team, we support him 100 percent,” White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon told the Sun-Times. “It’s a tough loss. He’s a guy who can boost our rotation or wherever he would line up in the row of arms. But looking forward to having him back next year.”
Kopech was involved in the five-player trade that brought Chris Sale to the Red Sox in 2016.
White Sox pitching coach ‘concerned’ about ex-Red Sox prospect Michael Kopech originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston