Boston Red Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech is on the shelf with an uncertain timetable for his return after injuring his hand in an altercation with a teammate.
Continue for updates.
Red Sox GM Comments on Kopech's Injury
Tuesday, March 8
According to Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Kopech fractured his right hand during the incident, and it ultimately required a cast.
Per Bradford, Red Sox general manager Mike Hazen acknowledged the incident and challenged Kopech to mature:
It was stupid. He's going to have to grow up, obviously, with the things that have happened so far. He's got a long road to go to get to the big leagues. He obviously has a ton of potential. He's got a long way to go. These types of things, you don't want to put more barriers in front of you than playing professional baseball already presents you.
It is unclear who Kopech scuffled with, but this isn't the first time the 2014 first-round pick has gotten into trouble.
[...] I never have and never will intentionally cheat the game that has been so great to me. I haven't bought any supplements that aren't NSF certified for sport. Therefore, I know I have not bought a supplement containing this drug. I have never heard of Oxilofrine, honestly. Apparently, it is a drug that many people use for weight loss. I have been trying to gain weight since I signed with the Red Sox. I do understand this is also a stimulant. This drug would have no positive outcome for me and that's why I chose to appeal. I realized I didn't have much evidence to prove that I'm innocent, but I didn't have any understanding of how I could have failed a test. I respect the system and understand why they have to be so careful with the testing. I also understand why that means my suspension couldn't have been overturned without proper evidence. I have 50 games to get to work and better myself and as a ball player. Next season I'll be better than ever. Drug free.
The suspension damaged what was an otherwise spectacular year for Kopech, as he went 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA and 70 strikeouts in 65 innings at Single-A Greenville.
Kopech was highly unlikely to make Boston's 25-man roster out of spring training because of his relative inexperience in professional baseball, but the injury could move his timeline back even further.
While the Red Sox have yet to reveal how long Kopech is expected to be out of action, the fact that the injury is to his throwing hand is a major negative, and a potential late start to his season could make building upon 2015 difficult.
Follow @MikeChiari on Twitter.