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Marcus Stroman goes five innings in rain-shortened return

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman made his 2015 debut on Saturday night at Yankee Stadium in the second game of a double-header, but it was cut short by rain. The right-hander went five innings, allowing three runs on four hits and two walks with two strikeouts. The game went into a delay after the top of the fifth inning with the Jays leading 6-3.

Stroman, 24, suffered a torn ACL in March and shortly thereafter underwent surgery. He impressed as a rookie last season, compiling a 3.65 ERA with a 111/28 K/BB ratio in 130 2/3 innings spanning 20 starts and six relief appearances.

The Blue Jays selected Stroman in the first round, 22nd overall, in the 2012 draft. He entered the 2014 season rated as the 27th-best prospect in baseball, per Baseball Prospectus.

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.