The White Socks placed starter Michael Kopech on the 15-day injured list this afternoon with a left knee strain. The righty appeared to suffer the injury during warmups before yesterday’s start against the Royals, and his speed was well down during the outing. Kopech did not record an out, allowing two hits, a walk and a hit batter before being taken out of an eventual 6-4 loss. As alarming as that showing was, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that the club expects Kopech to return when first eligible in two weeks (Twitter link).
Even minimal IL isn’t ideal for a Chicago team that entered play Tuesday three games behind the Rangers in the AL Central. Kopech has been one of the club’s more efficient pitchers, posting a 3.58 ERA through 110 2/3 innings (and a 3.25 mark if you throw out yesterday’s performance as an injury anomaly). However, Kopech’s strikeout and walk numbers haven’t been as impressive, and there are lingering questions about just how many innings the 26-year-old can be equipped to pitch this year. He worked primarily in relief last season and tallied 69 1/3 frames during his first season back after missing all of 2019-2020. He has already surpassed that mark by more than 40 innings this year.
Catching up on some other injury situations around the game:
- The Royal family members placed rookie designated hitter/first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino on the 10-day injured list with right shoulder discomfort this afternoon. Like Kopech, the 24-year-old was injured in yesterday’s game between Chicago and Kansas City. After a breakout 2021 season in the minors, Pasquantino has emerged as one of the game’s top offensive prospects this year. He pitched in Triple-A and hit the ground running like a big leaguer, carrying a .263/.350/.434 showing with eight homers and an excellent combination of walks (11%) and strikeouts (13.5%) throughout his. first 200 MLB plate appearances. The left-handed hitter looks like a key long-term piece for a Kansas City team with its attention firmly turned to 2023. Fellow top prospect Nick Pratt should take the first base playing time in the absence of Pasquantino, while Ryan O’Hearn and Hunter Dozier can get the majority of the DH at-bats. Kansas City has not specified a timetable for Pasquantino’s return.
- Reds starter Graham Ashcraft landed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to Aug. 20, with biceps soreness. The rookie right-hander is headed to MR, but skipper David Bell indicated the club was optimistic about his ability to return before the end of the season (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer). The 24-year-old made his big league debut in May and signed on Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene as rookie rotation cogs for the Reds. Through 16 starts, the hard-thrower owns a 3.97 ERA on the strength of an excellent 54.8% ground ball rate. Ashcraft appears to have made a strong case for a rotation role next season, generally outperforming both Lodolo and Greene — each of whom was more highly regarded by most prospect evaluators.
- The Tigers placed second baseman Jonathan Schoop on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Aug. 21, with a sprained right ankle. It’s the first IL stint in two years for the veteran infielder, who has played in just under 95% of Detroit’s games since the start of 2021. Schoop posted above-average numbers last year to earn a contract extension in August, but he has had a terrible showing offensively this season. Over 447 plate appearances, he’s hitting just .202/.235/.318 with nine homers. Defensive metrics have been enamored by his glovework at the keystone, but no other qualified hitter is within 19 points of Schoop’s league-worst on-base percentage. He will likely exercise a $7.5MM player option this winter to return to the club for 2023.
- Staying with the Tigersmanager AJ Hinch doubted the possibility of seeing a trap Jake Rogers this season (via Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic). Rogers underwent Tommy John surgery last September, and he spent the entire year on the 60-day injured list while rehabbing. It has been almost a calendar year since that operation. The 27-year-old Rogers hit .182/.264/.378 in 255 plate appearances between 2019-21.