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James Shields to 10-day disabled list with strained lat

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The White Sox placed right-hander James Shields on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right lat, according to a club announcement on Friday. The move is retroactive to April 18. Veteran right-hander Mike Pelfrey has been recalled from Triple-A Charlotte and is expected to replace Shields in the rotation, while outfielder Charlie Tilson will move to the 60-day disabled list to clear space for Pelfrey on the 40-man roster.

A report from MLB.com’s Scott Merkin revealed that the strain is not severe, but stemmed from discomfort during Shields’ start against the Twins last Sunday. Merkin also noted that while there are plenty of promising arms awaiting promotion in Triple-A Charlotte, Chicago general manager Rick Hahn felt that Pelfrey would be best suited for what looks to be a temporary stay in the rotation:

From the start, we talked about when these guys do get to Chicago for that last stage of development that happens in the big leagues, we want them to feel comfortable they will get the ball every fifth day,” said Hahn of bypassing the prospects. “It’s not going to be snatched away from them because someone is coming off the DL or their performance isn’t up-to-snuff in any individual start.

Shields is 1-0 to start the 2017 season, touting a 1.62 ERA through three starts with three runs, 10 walks and 16 strikeouts in 16 2/3 innings.

Mike Pelfrey has yet to find his footing on the mound this season, turning in a 7.50 with Triple-A Charlotte after he allowed ten hits, five runs and struck out four in his first two minor league outings last week. He wasn’t much better over a full season’s worth of starts in 2016, going 4-10 with a 5.70 ERA, 3.5 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 during a one-year gig with the Tigers. This will be the right-hander’s first major league stint with the White Sox after they signed him to a minor league contract on April 5.

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.