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Adam Wainwright speaks up about baseball’s labor issues

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Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright recently did an interview with InsideSTL.com’s Tim McKernan, which made headlines because the right-hander said, “Unless something changes, there’s going to be a strike. 100 percent.” Wainwright added, “I’m just worried people are going to walk out midseason.”

Baseball’s ongoing struggle between labor and ownership has hit a fever pitch recently as the free agent market continues to stagnate. Among players to have spoken up this offseason are Jeff Samardzija, Justin Verlander, Collin McHugh, Dallas Keuchel, Jake Arrieta, Evan Longoria, and Buster Posey.

Wainwright took to Twitter on Saturday afternoon to expound on his thoughts. Here they are, in chronological order:

Indeed, Wainwright responded to a few people on Twitter who read his series of tweets. This was first:

Wainwright’s comments are thoughtful and worth consideration. Most strikingly, he’s one of the few major leaguers to have directly acknowledged that minor leaguers are severely underpaid and, in fact, exploited. As has been mentioned here, the MLBPA has been happy to ignore this, but fighting for a higher standard of living for minor leaguers would lend credibility when players and agents complain about the likes of Bryce Harper and Manny Machado not getting 10-year contracts worth $300-400 million. Which, by the way, they should.

I appreciated that Wainwright fought back against the thought that player salaries drive ticket prices. It’s a commonly-held belief that is flatly incorrect. Teams set the prices to increase revenues, then when revenues increase, players ask for a commensurate slice of the pie. If player salaries truly drove ticket prices, we would see the cheapest tickets among rebuilding teams, but that hasn’t been the case. For instance, according to CBS News in 2016, Dodger Stadium was among the cheapest places to watch a major league game. The Dodgers had an Opening Day payroll of nearly $250 million that season.

Reliever Brad Brach and first baseman Mark Reynolds also chimed in a bit, talking about their experiences in free agency this offseason.

Hmm.

Robert Gsellman diagnosed with partial lat tear

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman has been diagnosed with a partial lat tear. There is no timetable yet for his recovery, but it would seem likely he doesn’t pitch again this season.

Gsellman, 26, went on the injured list on Saturday (retroactive to August 14) with what was initially called right triceps tightness. Across 63 2/3 innings of relief for the Mets this season, the right-hander posted a 4.66 ERA with 60 strikeouts and 23 walks.

Losing Gsellman is a big deal for the Wild Card-hopeful Mets. While his ERA wasn’t anything incredible, he was a workhorse, accruing the most innings of anyone in the bullpen. With Gsellman out of the mix, the Mets will lean even more on Seth Lugo and Jeurys Familia behind struggling closer Edwin Díaz.