White Sox Pitcher Michael Kopech Opted Out of 2020 MLB Season After Vanessa Morgan Divorce Filing
Michael Kopech decided to sit out the 2020 MLB season just before news of his high-profile split broke.
Earlier this month, White Sox general manager Rick Hahn revealed that his top pitching prospect had decided not to participate in the upcoming season.
“Michael Kopech has informed us of his decision to not participate in the 2020 season,” Hahn told Forbes in a statement on July 10. “We recognize 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.”
A rep for the White Sox did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
Prior to this announcement, Kopech, 24, had also been absent from the White Sox spring-training camp. At the time, Hahn told The Chicago Sun-Times it was related to "personal" reasons.
"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 in early July.
"It’s never ideal when any individual is dealing with off-field matters," Hahn added. "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. 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 and look forward to seeing him in the future."
According to Forbes, Kopech as been out since September 2018 after an elbow injury left him needing Tommy John surgery. The recovery cost him the 2019 season and he was expected to be fully capable and able to pitch in 2020.
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Ahead of his decision to sit out the season, Kopech filed for divorce from wife Vanessa Morgan in his home state of Texas on June 19, The Chicago Tribune reported, citing court records. The documents were filed in Morris County and a hearing date was not listed, according to the outlet.
The couple has only been married for six months and Riverdale star is currently pregnant with their first child.
A representative for Morgan confirmed to PEOPLE that Kopech is the father of Morgan's baby on the way, but declined to comment on the divorce filing. A spokesperson for Kopech did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.
News of the divorce came just days after Morgan, 28, announced her pregnancy.
Last Friday, the actress shared photos and videos from a party of close friends and family where it was revealed that she's having a baby boy. Kopech did not appear in any of the pictures or videos.
Morgan and Kopech tied the knot this January in an intimate ceremony at the Walton Historic House in Florida. The small celebration had a guest list of 40 of their closest friends and family, including Morgan’s costars, Skeet Ulrich, Drew Ray Tanner and Madelaine Petsch.
Petsch, who plays Morgan’s on-screen girlfriend, was a bridesmaid for the ceremony. Degrassi star Alicia Dea was also in attendance.
Kopech first announced their engagement last July, after a year of dating.