With Monday’s day off, their last one of the regular season, the Athletics will readjust their starting rotation so that Sonny Gray pitches the regular season finale in Texas against the Rangers, per CSN Bay Area’s Joe Stiglich. The fading A’s, who defeated the Mariners on Sunday afternoon but have lost 12 of their last 17, will likely need every small advantage as they attempt to maintain a hold one of the two American League Wild Card slots.
The adjustment will have the Athletics sending out, in order, Scott Kazmir, Jeff Samardzija, and Sonny Gray in their three-game series against the Rangers at home from Tuesday through Thursday. Samardzija had been pitching ahead of Kazmir. Jon Lester and Jason Hammel remain unaffected at the back of the rotation.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.