Last year at this time Sean Marshall was beginning the season as the Reds’ closer, but that didn’t last long and now he’s third in the bullpen hierarchy behind Aroldis Chapman and Jonathan Broxton. If he can get healthy enough to pitch, that is.
Marshall hasn’t been available yet this season because of shoulder fatigue, telling John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that the rest is “just precautionary” and he’s “probably a day or two away” from being ready to pitch.
By keeping Chapman as a reliever the Reds’ bullpen depth is certainly strong enough to cope without Marshall for a while, but he’s been one of the best setup men in baseball for the past three seasons with 10.3 strikeouts per nine innings and ERAs of 2.65, 2.26, and 2.51.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.
The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.