Shane Victorino has overcome some discomfort in his side in recent days, but Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald reports that he tweaked his right hamstring during today’s Grapefruit League game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI tomorrow.
Victorino was adamant this afternoon that he expects to be “fine” and “ready to go” for Opening Day despite the late issue, but Red Sox manager John Farrell acknowledged that he’s thinking about a contingency plan. Jackie Bradley, Jr., who was demoted to Triple-A this week after Grady Sizemore’s surprising resurgence, would return to the big club if a trip to the disabled list is in the cards for Victorino.
Victorino, who is also coming back from offseason thumb surgery, hit .294/.351/.451 with 15 home runs, 61 RBI, and 21 stolen bases in 122 games last season. He is entering the second year of a three-year, $39 million contract.
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.