One nice thing about having an MLB-best 86-46 record on September 2 is that you can look ahead to the playoffs (and beyond) without worrying much about the final month of the regular season.
St. Louis is taking advantage of that by skipping right-hander Michael Wacha from his scheduled start tonight as a way to limit his innings total.
Wacha has pitched brilliantly this season, going 15-4 with a 2.69 ERA in 157 innings, but he was hurt for much of last season and limiting the 23-year-old’s workload makes all kinds of sense.
Left-hander Tyler Lyons will start in Wacha’s place against the Nationals and every indication is that Wacha will take his normal turn in the rotation next week.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.