Offseason acquisition Mat Latos is not off to a promising start in Miami. The 27-year-old righty got lit up for seven earned runs on six hits and two walks Tuesday evening in his Marlins debut against the Braves — a debut that lasted less than inning. He recorded only two outs, and one of those outs came on a sacrifice bunt by opposing pitcher Alex Wood. Here’s how that top-of-the-first played out at Marlins Park …
Latos is currently sporting a 94.50 ERA. Many projected the Marlins to be a real contender this season in the National League and it’s silly to overreact to anything on April 7, but their starting rotation sure looks flimsy beyond Henderson Alvarez, who had a nice debut Monday. Jose Fernandez isn’t due to return from Tommy John surgery until June, and even the best pitchers tend to struggle in their first year back from that procedure.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.