Sidelined for the past month with a strained oblique muscle, Joakim Soria is slated to be activated from the disabled list and rejoin the Tigers’ bullpen for tonight’s game against the Royals.
Soria appeared in just six games for the Tigers after they acquired him from the Rangers in mid-July and was horrible with a 10.38 ERA, but prior to the trade he had a 2.70 ERA and 42/4 K/BB ratio in 33 innings for Texas.
Soria has plenty of closing experience from his days with the Royals–saving 160 games with a 2.40 ERA from 2007-2011–so it’s possible manager Brad Ausmus could eventually turn to him in the ninth inning if Joe Nathan continues to struggle or has to be shut down due to elbow problems.
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.