Orioles have Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez lined up to start Games 3 and 4 of ALCS

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According to Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com, Orioles manager Buck Showalter said this afternoon that Wei-Yin Chen and Miguel Gonzalez are lined up to start Games 3 and 4 of the ALCS against the Royals. That’s assuming they aren’t needed in relief today. Both are available out of the bullpen after last night’s extra-inning loss.

Chen was hit hard in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Tigers, giving up five runs on seven hits (including two home runs) over just 3 2/3 innings. Showalter ultimately chose Bud Norris over him to start Game 2 of the ALCS today. The 29-year-old southpaw had a 3.54 ERA and 136/35 K/BB ratio over 185 2/3 innings during the regular season.

Gonzalez is the fresh arm for the Orioles. He wasn’t needed in the ALDS, so he hasn’t pitched in a game since way back on September 28. That’s nearly two weeks ago. The 30-year-old right-hander posted a 3.23 ERA and 111/51 K/BB ratio over 159 innings this season.

Game 3 of the ALCS will take place Monday in Kansas City, with Game 4 on Tuesday.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.