The Rockies have removed LaTroy Hawkins from the closer role

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Two meltdowns in three appearances have cost La Troy Hawkins his job as Rockies closer. From the Denver Post:

“We have decided to give ‘Hawk a break in that role,” manager Walt Weiss said before the start of the Rockies-Giants afternoon game. “We’re just trying to give him a little bit of a breather for the time being.”

Rafael Betancourt figures to get the most save chances, though Weiss said that there will be some “mix-and-match” going on in the Rockies’ pen. Adam Ottavino will likewise get chances, as will John Axford once he returns from family medical leave arising out of his son’s injuries from a snakebite.

Hawkins, 42, threw 54 innings with a 3.31 ERA and notched 23 saves last season. He has allowed five runs on seven hits in two and two-thirds innings so far in 2015.

Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images
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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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.