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Jerad Eickhoff to miss six to eight weeks with strained lat

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Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies starter Jerad Eickhoff will miss the next six to eight weeks with a strained right lat. Manager Gabe Kapler said the right-hander suffered the injury with one of his final pitches during his most recent Grapefruit League start.

Eickhoff, who suffered a similar injury last year, went 4-8 with a 4.71 ERA and a 118/53 K/BB ratio in 128 innings during the 2017 season.

Salisbury notes that the Phillies are likely to fill Eickhoff’s spot in the rotation internally. With free agent Alex Cobb still available, GM Matt Klentak said on Monday that the Phillies’ moves were likely complete. Following news of Eickhoff’s injury, Klentak said on Friday that the young pitchers — almost certainly referring to Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, and Mark Leiter, who are fighting for rotation spots — are stretched out and worthy of a look.

Max Scherzer: ‘There’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions’

Max Scherzer
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MLBPA player representative Max Scherzer sent out a short statement late Wednesday night regarding the ongoing negotiations between the owners and the union. On Tuesday, ownership proposed a “sliding scale” salary structure on top of the prorated pay cuts the players already agreed to back in March. The union rejected the proposal, with many worrying that it would drive a wedge in the union’s constituency.

Scherzer is one of eight players on the MLBPA executive subcommittee along with Andrew Miller, Daniel Murphy, Elvis Andrus, Cory Gearrin, Chris Iannetta, James Paxton, and Collin McHugh.

Scherzer’s statement:

After discussing the latest developments with the rest of the players there’s no reason to engage with MLB in any further compensation reductions. We have previously negotiated a pay cut in the version of prorated salaries, and there’s no justification to accept a 2nd pay cut based upon the current information the union has received. I’m glad to hear other players voicing the same viewpoint and believe MLB’s economic strategy would completely change if all documentation were to become public information.

Indeed, aside from the Braves, every other teams’ books are closed, so there has been no way to fact-check any of the owners’ claims. Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, for example, recently said that 70 percent of the Cubs’ revenues come from “gameday operations” (ticket sales, concessions, etc.). But it went unsubstantiated because the Cubs’ books are closed. The league has only acknowledged some of the union’s many requests for documentation. Without supporting evidence, Ricketts’ claim, like countless others from team executives, can only be taken as an attempt to manipulate public sentiment.

Early Thursday morning, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that the MLBPA plans to offer a counter-proposal to MLB in which the union would suggest a season of more than 100 games and fully guaranteed prorated salaries. It seems like the two sides are quite far apart, so it may take longer than expected for them to reach an agreement.