After being suspended 50 games last year due to a drug suspension, the Red Sox 2014 first-round pick fractured his hand after an altercation with a teammate.
Michael Kopech has been in the Red Sox farm system for less than two years and he already has gotten in serious trouble twice. Kopech, listed as the number five prospect on SoxProspects.com, was trying to use this year to put his drug suspension in the past and live up to the expectations.
“I was telling myself that I have something to prove,” Kopech told The Boston Globe. “People are going to make an assumption with whatever the hell they want to make an assumption about, so I’m going to do the best I can do. I’m going to come out here and freaking pitch.”
Considering that the quote was from March 1st, it is amusing that exactly a week after saying that he only wants to pitch, he fractures his right hand fighting a teammate.
Red Sox GM Mike Hazen has already addressed the issue, according to WEEI.
“It was stupid,” Hazen told reporters. “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.”
According to Hazen, Kopech’s teammate didn’t suffer any injury. The Red Sox still not know how much time will Kopech miss.
“It depends on the severity of the fracture and if we have to do anything with it or not,” Hazen told the Providence Journal. “Right now we’re unsure exactly. There’s a wide range of timeframes depending on what we have to do. We don’t have those answers yet.”
Kopech didn’t have an opportunity to pitch in this Spring Training and even though he wasn’t expected to make his Major League debut until 2017 or 2018, this incident is another disappointment in his young career.
Due to his drug suspension, Kopech ended his Greenville season last July with a 2.63 ERA, striking out 70 and walking 27 in 15 starts.