Just one day after tying Ken Griffey, Jr. on the all-time home run list, Angels designated hitter Albert Pujols has landed on the 10-day disabled list with inflammation in his left knee. It’s not clear exactly when the injury developed or how long Pujols will be sidelined, though it seems likely that he’ll rejoin the team soon after the All-Star break next week.
The 38-year-old hitter hasn’t paid a visit to the disabled list since 2013. He’s currently batting at a clip of .251/.291/.432 with 16 home runs and a .723 OPS through his first 268 plate appearances. As the Angels are currently slated to face the Dodgers during their last pre- All-Star Break series, they’ll be able to spare their DH for a few days while they keep an eye on his condition.
In corresponding moves, the team optioned outfielder Michael Hermosillo to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled fellow outfielder Jabari Blash and first baseman Jose Fernandez. While Blash didn’t make much of his major league call-up earlier this season, his Triple-A numbers are impressive: a .327/.438/.755 batting line, 23 home runs, and a 1.193 OPS in 249 PA. Fernandez, likewise, left behind a .333 average and 11 homers in Salt Lake, and will try to replicate those numbers as he plays backup to Jefry Marte at first base.
Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.
Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.
Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.
As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.