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.

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.