Mariners starter Taijuan Walker made his first start of the spring against the Padres’ Triple-A squad in Peoria on Saturday. He allowed a run on two hits in one inning of work. The right-hander was shut down earlier this spring with inflammation in the bursa of his right shoulder.
Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that Walker threw only fastballs and change-ups. The fastball ranged from 93 to 96 MPH while the change-up sat in the mid-80’s. After he exited the game, Walker threw an additional 15 pitches in the bullpen.
Overall, Walker was happy with how the day went.
“This one was almost like a tester game to see how it felt,” he said. “All that other stuff will come. I felt like my fastball location was pretty good. It’s not where I want it, but I’m happy with it.”
But it’s the lack of pain or stiffness in his shoulder that is the best result of the outing.
“I just walk away happy because my arm feels good,” he said.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.