Brandon Beachy is close to joining the Dodgers’ rotation

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Brandon Beachy’s comeback from a second Tommy John elbow surgery is nearly complete, with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly telling Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register that “he’s feeling good and we’re feeling good about where he’s at.”

Beachy, who signed an incentive-laden deal with the Dodgers this offseason, has been rehabbing in the minors and could be cleared to join the rotation shortly after the All-Star break.

He hasn’t pitched in the majors since early 2013, but if healthy Beachy could make a big impact down the stretch. He had a 3.23 ERA in 268 innings for the Braves, striking out 9.2 batters per nine innings while holding opponents to a .220 batting average.

Mattingly indicated that the Dodgers may work him back into the mix slowly, which suggests long relief or mopping up could be his role initially. Los Angeles hold a team option on Beachy for 2016, so the Dodgers have reason to be somewhat cautious.

Nationals back off of minor league stipend cut

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Yesterday it was reported that the Washington Nationals would cut the weekly stipend paid to their minor leaguers from $400 a week to $300 per week through the end of June.

For frame of reference, MLB had agreed to pay all minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. Several teams have agreed to extend that, with the Royals and Twins agreeing to do it all the way through the end of August. The Oakland A’s decided to stop the payments in their entirety as of today. The Nationals were unique in cutting $100 off of the checks.

The A’s and the Nationals have taken a great amount of flak for what they’ve done. The Nats move was immediately countered by Nationals major league players announcing that they would cover what the organization would not.

The A’s are, apparently, still sticking to their plan. The Nats, however, have reversed course:

One can easily imagine a situation in which Nats ownership just decided, cold-heartedly, to lop that hundred bucks off of each minor league check and not worry about a moment longer. What’s harder to imagine is what seems to have actually happened: the Nats did it without realizing that anyone would take issue with it, were surprised by the blowback, and then reversed course. Like, what kind of a bubble where they living in that they did not think people would consider that a low-rent thing to do?

In any event, good move, Nats, even if I cannot even begin to comprehend your thought process.