Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez acknowledged Saturday morning that he’s very nervous about his sore right elbow. And now Sean McAdam of CSN New England reports that the 24-year-old is going to be examined by Dr. James Andrews, who of course specializes in Tommy John surgery.
“I don’t know about the severity of it right now,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Sunday. “We know there have been findings on it, based on the MRI, and I think anytime the elbow is talked about, you go to someone who’s probably the source in our industry — and that’s Dr. Andrews — to take a further look at this.”
Ryan Hanigan is expected to open the season as Boston’s starting catcher. And season-ending surgery for Vazquez would likely accelerate the timetable for top prospect Blake Swihart’s debut.
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.