Giants right-hander Matt Cain is off the disabled list and will make his 2015 debut today against the Marlins, returning from ankle and elbow surgeries to start for the first time in nearly one year.
Cain last started on July 9, 2014, when he was shut down with a 2-7 record and 4.18 ERA in his second straight disappointing season. He made four minor-league rehab starts–three of them at Triple-A–and posted a 4.19 ERA with a strong 19/5 K/BB ratio in 19 innings to convince the Giants he’s ready to return.
Tim Lincecum is headed to the disabled list after being hit in the arm by a line drive, clearing the path for Cain to reclaim his rotation spot. Cain is making $20 million this season and is owed $20 million in both 2016 and 2017, plus a $21 million option or $7.5 million buyout for 2018. That contract combined with his strong pre-2013 track record and Lincecum’s struggles mean the Giants are very much counting on Cain being a big contributor in the second half.
Francys Romero reports that, according to his sources, Dodgers pitcher David Price will pay $1,000 out of his own money to each Dodgers minor leaguer who is not on the 40-man roster during the month of June.
That’s a pretty amazing gesture from Price. It’s also extraordinarily telling that such a gesture is even necessary.
Under a March agreement with Major League Baseball, minor leaguers have been receiving financial assistance that is set to expire at the end of May. Baseball America reported earlier this week that the Dodgers will continue to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week past May 31, but it is unclear how long such payments would go. Even if one were to assume that the payments will continue throughout the month of June, however, it’s worth noting that $400 a week is not a substantial amount of money for players to live on, on which to support families, and on which to train and remain ready to play baseball if and when they are asked to return.
Price’s generosity should be lauded here, but this should not be considered a feel-good story overall. Major League Baseball, which has always woefully underpaid its minor leaguers has left them in a vulnerable position once again.