Yunel Escobar was forced to exit last night’s game due to a left groin injury and the team announced this morning that he will be sent for an MRI.
Escobar suffered the injury running down the first base line in the fourth inning last night. He’s convinced that it’s not a big deal and that he’ll be ready to go in a couple of days, but Nationals manager Matt Williams told Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com that they’ll look at the test results before deciding on a possible disabled list stint.
“He says he feel OK,” manager Matt Williams said. “The results will tell us more, and we’ll be able to make a decision. Right now, we’re just waiting on him having that test.”
The Nationals are already without Anthony Rendon, so their infield depth is being tested in the early part of the season. Danny Espinosa is making the first start of his career at third base today while Dan Uggla is playing second base.
Escobar has been one of the Nationals’ best hitters thus far, batting .286/.362/.405 through 11 games.
The Athletic’s Britt Ghiroli reports that the Nationals will pay their minor leaguers $300 per week through the end of June. MLB agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through today, May 31. Many teams have extended that by at least a month. Some, like the Marlins, Padres, and Mariners, have committed to paying their minor leaguers beyond that.
Ghiroli also notes that the Nationals cut more than 30 minor leaguers, as there will almost certainly not be a minor league season this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
It is interesting that the Nationals are only offering $300 per week as opposed to the standard $400 weekly. If we assume that the Nationals’ organization has 275 minor leaguers, they will save $110,000 in August by offering $100 less. The Nationals are coming off of winning a championship. While the Nationals haven’t experienced as much of a boon as other champions due to the unfortunate timing, their owner still has a net worth north of $4 billion. The Nats’ franchise value is approximately $2 billion, per Forbes. No, it’s not all liquid, but $110,000 is change that gets lost between the couch cushions for this and many other franchises.
Players are taking note of which teams take care of their players and other personnel, and which are not. The teams that continued to pay minor leaguers, kept staff paid and on board, and helped in other ways will have a better time going forward of attracting and retaining talent both in terms of players and front office personnel (including scouts). While teams should pay their players out of a sense of morality, there is a competitive advantage to doing so as well.