The Padres placed infielder/outfielder Wil Myers on the 10-day disabled list with a left oblique strain, per an announcement on Sunday. Outfielder Travis Jankowski was recalled from Triple-A El Paso in a corresponding move.
Myers, 27, suffered the injury after fouling off a pitch from the Mets’ Seth Lugo in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game. He took another pitch from Lugo but quickly summoned a team trainer and was unable to complete the at-bat. While the Padres have yet to reveal a concrete timetable for Myers’ return, he told reporters he expects to be sidelined for at least 14 days.
It’s a tough blow for the 27-year-old, who was just a week removed from his last stay on the disabled list. He dealt with lower back stiffness in camp and was shut down for several weeks in April after experiencing nerve irritation in his throwing arm. Between stints on the DL, he went 9-for-28 with two doubles and a stolen base. He went hitless in three at-bats against the Mets on Saturday.
Jankowski, 26, will rejoin the team after getting optioned to Triple-A last month. He raked .363/.452/.450 with five extra-base hits, four stolen bases and a .902 OPS in the minors this spring.
Over the past several weeks we’ve heard a lot of news about teams furloughing front office and scouting staff, leveling pay cuts for those who remain and, most recently, ceasing stipends to minor league players and releasing them en masse. The message being sent, intentionally or otherwise, is that baseball teams are feeling the pinch.
The Kansas City Royals, however, are a different story.
Jon Heyman reported this afternoon that the Royals are paying their minor leaguers through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended, and unlike so many other teams, they are not releasing players either. Jeff Passan, meanwhile, reports that the Royals will not lay any team employees off or furlough anyone. “Nearly 150 employees will not take pay cuts,” he says, though “higher-level employees will take tiered cuts.” Passan adds that the organization intends to restore the lost pay due to those higher-level employees in the future when revenue ramps back up, making them whole.
While baseball finances are murky at best and opaque in most instances, most people agree that the Royals are one of the lower-revenue franchises in the game. They are also near the bottom as far as franchise value goes. Finally, they have the newest ownership group in all of baseball, which means that the group almost certainly has a lot of debt and very little if any equity in the franchise. Any way you slice it, cashflow is likely tighter in Kansas City than almost anywhere else.
Yet the Royals are paying minor leaguers and front office employees while a great number of other teams are not. What’s their excuse?