White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech cited ‘personal’ reasons in deciding to sit out the abbreviated 2020 baseball season just before he filed for divorce from Riverdale actress Vanessa Morgan.
‘Michael Kopech has informed us of his decision to not participate in the 2020 season,’ team’s general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement July 10 about the 24-year-old pitching prospect, who filed to split from the 28-year-old Canadian beauty in his native Morris County, Texas June 19, according to The Chicago Tribune.
News of the split comes just days after Morgan revealed she and Kopech are expecting a son, at a gender reveal the professional athlete was absent from.
‘It’s never ideal when any individual is dealing with off-field matters,’ said Hahn, adding that the franchise recognizes ‘that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive.
‘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. I do not have a timeline for his return, and given the personal nature of the matter he’s tending to, I won’t provide updates until we know the actual plan for Michael going forward.’
Hahn said he and the team ‘look forward to seeing [Kopech] in the future’ as he tends to personal issues amid a COVID-19 pandemic that has significantly shortened the span of the season.
‘It’s easy to lose sight of the fact you’re dealing with human beings who have lives, families and the same assortment of items to attend to that people have,’ he said. ‘This is obviously a very unique time we’re all living through. I’m not going to get more specific than that, other than we fully support Michael and are going to provide him whatever time and resources he needs.’
The right-hander missed all of last year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in September 2018, and looked to be physically ready to go for this season, as he was throwing at 100 mph during spring training, according to NBC Sports.
Kopech is one of many prominent ballplayers to sit out the current season, which has already been complicated by a number of infections to players on the Miami Marlins.
Others to pass on playing this year include Ian Desmond, David Price, Nick Markakis and Buster Posey.
Morgan’s rep told People that Kopech is the father of the child, just days after she had the gender reveal party.
Kopech, who was previously involved with Bravo star Brielle Biermann, proposed to Morgan in July of 2019, during a trip to Havasu Falls, Arizona after about a year together.
They exchanged vows January 4 at Florida’s Historic Walton House in front of a number of her Hollywood peers, including Skeet Ulrich, Alicia Dea, Madelaine Petsch and Drew Ray Tanner.