Bad news for the Braves: Arodys Vizcaino, who looked to be part of the big league pen this year and, in the future, profiled as a starter, underwent Tommy John surgery today. As you know, that ends his 2012 and, depending on how the rehab goes, may very well kill a bit of his 2013.
Vizcaino had been shut down with elbow trouble and met with James Andrews yesterday. It was apparently a pretty quick visit without a lot of nuance to it. But hey, at least Tommy John can make a boat payment with his royalties. I mean, that’s how it works, right? Dr. Andrews wouldn’t screw Tommy John like that, would he?
Vizcaino is only 21 and only has 17 major league innings under his belt. In four minor league seasons, however, he is 19-15 with a 2.91 ERA in 268 innings with a K-rate of 9.3 per nine while walking only 2.3 per nine.
Promising, but now it’s promise deferred.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.