Facing his former team, Astros starter Justin Verlander achieved his 250th strikeout of the season on Monday night, fanning Tigers catcher James McCann for the first out of the second inning. Rotation-mate Gerrit Cole already has 251 strikeouts on the year — the highest total in the American League. Verlander and Cole are the first teammates to strike out 250 batters or more in a season since the Diamondbacks’ Randy Johnson (334) and Curt Schilling (316) in 2002.
Verlander was pitching at Comerica Park for the first time as a visitor. He went seven innings, yielding two runs on six hits and a walk with 10 strikeouts on 104 pitches.
Verlander now has a 15-9 record, a 2.72 ERA, and a 258/35 K/BB ratio over 188 innings. The veteran right-hander will certainly be in the discussion for the AL Cy Young Award after the season.
In March, Major League Baseball agreed to pay minor league players $400 per week while the sport is shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic. That provision is set to expire at the end of May. As Craig noted earlier, the Athletics will not be paying their minor leaguers starting on June 1.
Several teams are doing the right thing, continuing to pay their minor leaguers $400 per week through at least the end of June. Per The Athletic’s Levi Weaver and James Fegan, the Rangers and White Sox will each tack on another month of pay. The Athletic’s Dennis Lin reported earlier that the Padres will pay their players through the end of August. Craig also cited a Baseball America report from this morning, which mentioned that the Marlins will also pay their players through the end of August.
Frankly, if the Marlins can find a way to continue paying their minor league players, then every team should be able to do the same. The Marlins are widely believed to be the least profitable among the 30 major league clubs. Here’s hoping the rest of the league follows the Rangers’, White Sox’s, Padres’, and Marlins’ lead as opposed to the Athletics’.