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The Latest: White Sox pitching prospect Kopech not playing

July 10, 2020
Associated Press

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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Chicago White Sox prized pitching prospect Michael Kopech has opted not to play this season. The team also said star third baseman Yoán Moncada and pitcher Jose Ruiz were placed on the 10-day injure list because of unspecified ailments.

The White Sox believe they are poised for a turnaround after seven straight losing seasons. But losing Kopech for the season and Moncada for at least a little while are big blows.

Both players had been absent since the White Sox resumed workouts last week for the first time since Major League Baseball shut down camps in March.

The team had said Kopech was dealing with a personal issue.

“We recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive,” general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement. “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.”

The 24-year-old right-hander is coming back from Tommy John surgery in September 2018. He hit triple-digits on the radar gun during his first spring training appearance.

Kopech was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on March 26 and likely would have opened the year in the minors had the season started on time.

Kopech was acquired by Chicago in the December 2016 trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox. He made his big league debut in 2018, going 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA in four starts.

Moncada set career highs by hitting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBIs in a breakthrough season last year.

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The University of Michigan says two athletes tested positive during a second round of COVID-19 testing, bringing the total to four out of the 375 who have been tested. The school says none of the 139 staff members have tested positive.

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Atlantic Coast Conference commissioner John Swofford says the league expects to make its decision on fall sports in “late July.”

The league put out Swofford’s statement Friday afternoon, saying the league has prepared “numerous scenarios” for fall competition over the last few months. The decision would come from the league’s board of directors.

Earlier this week, the ACC delayed the start of fall competition until at least Sept. 1. That move impacts non-revenue programs like soccer, volleyball, field hockey and cross country, but not football for now. The first football game involving a league team is North Carolina State’s trip to Louisville on Sept. 2.

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Virginia says two football players have tested positive for COVID-19 and will self-isolate for at least 10 days, along with other members of the program found to have come into close contact with them.

The school says 110 players were tested when the player returned to campus beginning July 5 for voluntary workouts. The players were all tested before the workout began, the school says. It adds that none of the players that tested positive have required hospitalization.

The tests were administered by UVA athletics sports medicine.

The players with positive test results will self-isolate for 10 days, or until they have been fever-free for at least three days, whichever is longer. They also will undergo cardiac screening before they are permitted to join daily sports functions.

The school did not indicate how many others were determined through contact tracing to have come into close contact with the players infected. It also did not indicate whether any coaches or other football staff have tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

All those found to have come into contact with the infected players will be asked to self-quarantine for at least 14 days and are unable to participate in daily sports functions in that time.

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San Francisco Giants star catcher Buster Posey is the latest big-name player to skip this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic.

Posey announced his decision on Friday. He says his family finalized the adoption of identical twin girls this week. The babies were born prematurely and Posey said after consultations with his wife and doctor he decided to opt out of the season. Posey had missed three practices while dealing with a personal issue.

Posey joins other big-name players like Dodgers pitcher David Price, Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Colorado’s Ian Desmond and Arizonna pitcher Mike Leake in deciding not to take part in the 60-game season this year.

-- Josh Dubow reporting.

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The Red Sox and Blue Jays will play two exhibition games at Fenway Park before baseball’s delayed regular-season opener.

Toronto will visit Boston on July 21 and 22 before heading down to Tampa Bay for its opener. The Red Sox are scheduled to open at home against the Baltimore Orioles on July 24.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

 
 
 

 

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