Michael Bourn successfully laid down a bunt single leading off the bottom of the third inning during Saturday night’s game against the White Sox. He advanced to second on Nick Swisher’s walk, but didn’t have to do too much running as the next three Indians all flied out, leaving two runners stranded.
Bourn did not take his place in center field for the top of the fourth inning. Instead, Michael Brantley moved from left to center and Mike Aviles entered the game in left. Paul Hoynes of The Plain Dealer reports that Bourn left the game with tightness in his left hamstring. The Indians said it was a precautionary move.
Bourn missed the first two weeks of the season as he was on the disabled list with a left hamstring injury, one which bothered him throughout the second half of spring training. Bourn has gotten off to a slow start, entering Saturday’s action with a .631 OPS in 65 plate appearances.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.