Phillies pitcher Matt Harrison, acquired from the Rangers in the Cole Hamels trade, has been diagnosed with hypothyroidism, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports. Hypothyroidism is when a person’s thyroid gland doesn’t produce thyroid hormones. Harrison is hopeful the diagnosis will allow him to effectively deal with weight loss, back problems, and a loss of velocity.
On Friday, the Phillies placed Harrison on the 15-day disabled list with lower back inflammation. The lefty said he would’ve gone on the disabled list even if he hadn’t been traded, but added that he’s dealing with back stiffness as opposed to back pain.
Harrison, 29, has made a total of nine starts dating back to the start of the 2013 season. He had spinal fusion surgery in June of 2014 and made his return to the mound on July 8 this season. He made only three starts, posting a 6.75 ERA with a 6/5 K/BB ratio in 16 innings.
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.