Injury Notes: Kopech, Pasquantino, Ashcraft, Tigers

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The White socks placed starter Michael Kopech on the 15-day injured list this afternoon due to a left knee strain. The right wing appeared to be injured during the warm-ups for yesterday’s start against the Royals, and his pace was quite slow throughout the outing. Kopech didn’t score an out, giving up two basehits, a walk and a hit batter before being pulled out of an eventual 6-4 loss. As alarming as that display was, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times relays that the club expects Kopech to return when he first qualifies in two weeks (Twitter link).

Even a minimal IL isn’t ideal for a Chicago team that played three games behind the Guardians in the AL Central on Tuesday. Kopech was one of the club’s most effective pitchers, with an ERA of 3.58 to 110 2/3 innings (and a score of 3.25 if you discard yesterday’s performance as an injury anomaly). Kopech’s strikeout and walk numbers weren’t all that impressive, though, and there are lingering questions about how many innings the 26-year-old can throw this year. He worked mostly in relief last season, making 69 1/3 frames in his first season back after missing all of 2019-20. He has already eclipsed that figure by more than 40 innings this year.

Catching up on some other injury situations in the match:

  • The Royals seeded rookie designated batter/first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino on the 10-day injured list due to right shoulder discomfort this afternoon. Like Kopech, the 24-year-old was injured in yesterday’s game between Chicago and Kansas City. After a 2021 breakthrough in the minors, Pasquantino emerged as one of the game’s top offensive prospects this year. He stomped in Triple-A and got off to a good start as a big leaguer, putting in a .263/.350/.434 show with eight homeruns and an excellent combination of walks (11%) and strikeouts (13.5%) through his first 200 MLB plate appearances. The left-handed batter looks like a key long-term piece for a Kansas City team with his sights firmly set on 2023. Fellow top prospect Nick Pratto should take first base playing time in Pasquantino’s absence, while Ryan O’Hearn and Hunter Dozier can get the majority of DH at bats. Kansas City has not specified a timetable for Pasquantino’s return.
  • red beginner Graham Ashcraft landed on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to August 20, with biceps pain. The rookie right-hander is headed for an MRI, 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 debut in the Dutch big league in May and has joined Nick Lodolo and Hunter Greene as rookie cogs for the Reds. Up to 16 starts, the hard thrower has a 3.97 ERA based on an excellent ground ball speed of 54.8%. Ashcraft appears to have made a strong case for a rotational role next season, generally outperforming both Lodolo and Greene – each of whom is highly regarded by most potential evaluators.
  • The Tigers seeded second baseman Jonathan Schoop on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to August 21, with a sprained right ankle. It is the first IL stint in two years for the veteran infielder, who has played in just under 95% of Detroit’s games since early 2021. Schoop posted above-average marks last year to earn a contract extension in August, but he’s had a terrible offensive this season. Over 447 at bats, he hits just .202/.235/.318 with nine home runs. Defensive stats are charmed by his glove work on the cornerstone, but no other qualified batter is within 19 points of Schoop’s league-worst on-base percentage. He is likely to exercise a $7.5 million player option this winter to return to the club before 2023.
  • Holding on to the Tigersmanager AJ Hinch doubted the possibility of seeing catcher Jake Rogers this season (via Cody Stavenhagen of the Athletic). Rogers underwent Tommy John surgery last September, and he has spent the entire year on the 60-day injured list while recovering. It’s been almost a calendar year since that surgery. The 27-year-old Rogers batted .182/.264/.378 in 255 at bats between 2019-21.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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