Athletics starter Rich Hill is doubtful to make his next scheduled start on Sunday, MLB.com’s Jane Lee reports. The lefty is still bothered by a blister on his pitching hand.
Hill was scheduled to start last Sunday as well, but Andrew Triggs pitched the first inning against the Blue Jays instead before Sean Manaea took over for five innings. Hill hasn’t officially faced a batter since July 7.
The Athletics have been receiving some trade interest in Hill, so the blister could dampen their trade deadline activity. The Marlins, Red Sox, Royals, Orioles, and Blue Jays have reportedly shown interest in Hill within the last two weeks. As the Red Sox recently acquired Drew Pomeranz from the Padres, the club may no longer want to reacquaint themselves with Hill.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.