Cole Hamels scratched Thursday due to groin issue

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Cole Hamels allowed five runs in his Texas debut August 1 against the Giants and four earned in his second Rangers start August 7 versus the Mariners.

Now comes word from MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan that the left-hander has been scratched from his third Rangers start Thursday against the Twins because of a groin issue. The hope is that Hamels will only have to miss one turn in the Rangers’ starting rotation.

Hamels was acquired from the Phillies a few days before the July 31 trade deadline for catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams, left-hander Matt Harrison, and right-handers Alec Asher, Jerad Eickhoff, and Jake Thompson. Texas also received reliever Jake Diekman in that eight-player swap.

The 31-year-old Hamels is under contract through 2018 at $23.5 million per season.

Oakland Athletics reverse course: will continue to pay minor leaguers

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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.