MLB notebook: White Sox's Kopech has torn UCL

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[September 08, 2018] 

Michael Kopech, the top pitching prospect of the Chicago White Sox, has a torn ulnar collateral ligament and likely will undergo Tommy John surgery, the team announced Friday.

The team's announcement also said he will have a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis. If he has surgery, he should be ready for 2020 spring training, according to general manager Rick Hahn.

Before his promotion to the White Sox last month, he was rated as the No. 2 right-handed-pitching prospect in the minor leagues and No. 13 overall by MLB.com.

Kopech 22, was one of the two main pieces the White Sox acquired when they traded All-Star left-hander Chris Sale to the Red Sox in December 2016. The White Sox also received Yoan Moncada -- at one time the No. 1 prospect in baseball and now the team's starting second baseman -- plus outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe and right-hander Victor Diaz.

--Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will delay his decision on whether he will undergo Tommy John surgery until the end of the season, he told reporters.

Ohtani intends to finish the 2018 campaign as a hitter before making the call regarding the reconstructive elbow surgery that has been recommended to him, which would keep him off the mound in a major league game until 2020.

"Nothing is set right now," Ohtani said through his interpreter. "I have a few options out there. I am still trying to look into every single option. I will make a decision sometime toward the end of the season."

--Dustin Pedroia has been shut down for the rest of the season by the Boston Red Sox, but the injured second baseman is optimistic he can return healthy in 2019.

Returning to Fenway Park for the first time in two months, Pedroia said, "I'm excited going forward. It stinks I'm not going to be able to play."

Last October, Pedroia underwent a cartilage restoration procedure on his left knee -- one of three surgeries in 10 months. He played in only three games this season. "I knew all along it would be tough. It's a surgery that requires time. And once you give it time you'll be fine," he said.

--The Washington Nationals have their saving grace back, as left-handed closer Sean Doolittle was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list.

Doolittle, one of the most effective relievers in the major leagues with a 1.45 ERA and 22 saves before he went on the DL on July 10 with a strained toe on his left foot, hasn't pitched in a game since July 6. His injury was a stress reaction of the second left metatarsal.

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Aug 31, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Michael Kopech (34) pitches during the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

"If you had told me when I came out of that game that night that I was going to have to wait two months to get to do that again, I would've said you were crazy," Doolittle said. "But it's one of the things the DL does. It gives you some perspective. It humbles you a little bit. It reminds you how lucky we are to play this game, and to get a chance to put this uniform on and go back out on the field. I'm really excited to be back with the guys."

--The New York Yankees activated shortstop Didi Gregorius off the 10-day disabled list prior to their game against the Seattle Mariners.

Gregorius had been sidelined since suffering a bruised left heel on Aug. 19 against the Toronto Blue Jays. He collided with Toronto first baseman Kendrys Morales while beating out an infield hit and tumbled to the ground.

Gregorius is batting .270 with 22 homers and 74 RBIs in 118 games. He has smacked 20 or more homers in three straight seasons.

--St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina will miss a three-game weekend series with the Detroit Tigers due to a strained left hamstring.

St. Louis manager Mike Shildt said that there was no timetable for Molina's return, but the belief is that the injury is minor.

Molina suffered the injury during Wednesday's game against the Washington Nationals. The hamstring tightened as he slid into second base on a unsuccessful steal attempt.

--The family of Tony Gwynn has reached a confidential settlement in its wrongful death suit against the U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Co., according to reports.

Gwynn, who played all 20 seasons of his Hall of Fame career with the San Diego Padres, died in 2014 of cancer of the salivary gland. He was 54. The case had been set to go to trial in September 2019 in San Diego Superior Court, but the two sides confirmed the settlement on Friday.

"It's resolved, and it's been resolved to the satisfaction of all the parties involved," family attorney David Casey told USA Today.

--Field Level Media

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