Sonny Gray takes liner off of ankle, but is expected to make his next start

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Athletics starter Sonny Gray took a liner off of his right ankle in the bottom of the fourth inning and had to leave after completing the fifth. Gray held the Rays scoreless on four hits and no walks while striking out four.

X-rays came back negative. Manager Bob Melvin doesn’t expect Gray to miss his next scheduled start on Friday against the Yankees, MLB.com’s Troy Provost-Heron reports. That’s good news for the A’s, as Gray owns a 5-2 record with a superb 1.77 ERA, a 1.00 WHIP, and a 61/18 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

The Royals are paying everyone. Why can’t all of the other teams?

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Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.

The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.

Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.

While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.

Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?