Sean Doolittle due back from disabled list Friday

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Some good news here for the struggling A’s …

Oakland manager Bob Melvin told Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday that closer Sean Doolittle, who has been sidelined since August 24 with a strained intercostal muscle, is on track to be activated from the disabled list Friday.

Doolittle threw 20 pitches with hitters standing in on Wednesday afternoon and felt no discomfort.

Eric O’Flaherty has been filling in at closer for the Athletics and blew a save Monday night in Chicago.

Doolittle has an excellent 2.28 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, and 80/5 K/BB ratio in 55 1/3 innings this season.

The Athletics are currently eight games back of the first-place Angels in the American League West standings, but they’re clinging to a 1 1/2 game lead for the top American League Wild Card spot.

Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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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.