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Reds call up Tyler Mahle for big league debut

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Reds’ right-hander and top pitching prospect Tyler Mahle is getting the call for Sunday’s series finale against the Pirates, the club announced Friday. He’ll take the place of fellow right-hander Homer Bailey, who’s still working back from a minor shoulder issue and has been pushed back to Wednesday’s game against the Mets.

Mahle, 22, finally made the jump to Triple-A Louisville in 2017. After starting his year with a remarkable 1.59 ERA in Double-A Pensacola, he continued to dominate at the Triple-A level, carrying a 3-4 record through 10 starts and turning in a 2.73 ERA, 1.8 BB/9 and 9.2 SO/9 through 59 1/3 innings.

According to MLB.com, the righty placed fourth among the Reds’ top 30 prospects and boasts a fastball that tops out at 96 MPH and a variety of average-quality breaking balls. His efforts in the Reds’ system were crowned by his first career perfect game in June, and while he doesn’t appear to have the stuff to make it as a front-end starter in the long term, his poise and command should be a welcome addition to a rotation that currently ranks dead last in the league.

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.