Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman will begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Gwinnett on Sunday, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. He has already played in two rehab games with the Gulf Coast League Braves. He joined his major league teammates at Turner Field on Saturday to work out on the field during batting practice prior to their evening match-up with the Diamondbacks.
Freeman has been out since August 3 with a strained right oblique. He also missed six weeks between mid-June and late July with a right wrist contusion. He’s hitting .284/.348/.500 with 14 home runs and 45 RBI in 322 plate appearances this season.
If all goes well during Freeman’s rehab stint, the Braves are hoping to activate him from the disabled list on Wednesday.
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.