Royals planned to use Danny Duffy in the playoff rotation, but he was hurt

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Danny Duffy was a non-factor for the Royals in the playoffs after throwing 149 innings with a 2.53 ERA during the regular season and now we know why: He was hurt.

Royals manager Ned Yost revealed to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star that Duffy suffered a stress reaction in his rib cage during the regular season finale.

Yost apparently planned to start Duffy in Game 1 of the ALDS versus the Angels–“obviously, he definitely would have been one of our starters”–but the Royals’ training staff determined he could only be used for 2-3 innings at a time given the injury.

So instead Jason Vargas got the Game 1 assignment and then stayed in the rotation as the Royals’ fourth starter all postseason. Yost and the Royals kept Duffy’s status a secret because they wanted to potentially use him as an impact reliever, but in the rare times he took the mound the 25-year-old left-hander appeared to be in obvious discomfort.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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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.