Taijuan Walker was shut down last week after he was diagnosed with inflammation in the bursa of his right shoulder, but Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that he’s scheduled to resume throwing Thursday.
Walker has been limited for most of the spring, so even if all goes well Thursday, it’s expected that he’ll need three weeks to get ready for game action. While the start of the season is out the window at this point, the 21-year-old could join the Mariners’ rotation in mid-April if he can avoid setbacks.
With Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma both sidelined, the Mariners could very well begin the season with a rotation of Felix Hernandez, Scott Baker, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, and Brandon Maurer.
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.