Wandy Rodriguez, who is starting Friday night’s Grapefruit League match-up with the Marlins, has been penciled into the No. 4 spot in the Braves’ starting rotation, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. Eric Stults, Cody Martin, and Mike Foltynewicz are competing for the fifth and final spot.
Rodriguez, 36, made only six starts and posted a 6.75 ERA last season before going on the disabled list with inflammation in his right knee. He underwent surgery on his knee in late June, ending his season.
Rodriguez had originally signed with the Phillies on a minor league deal in December, but failed a physical. The Braves swooped in and signed him to a minor league deal in mid-January. So far this spring, Rodriguez has allowed one run on six hits with a 5/5 K/BB ratio in eight innings.
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.