White Sox starter Reynaldo López had himself a day against the Tigers on Sunday afternoon. The right-hander limited the opposition to an unearned run on two hits and three walks while striking out 14 batters over six innings. 14 strikeouts! In six innings!
It’s the second time a pitcher has struck out at least 14 batters in a start this season. Jacob deGrom also struck out 14 on April 3 against the Marlins. López is the first member of the White Sox to strike out at least 14 since Chris Sale in a complete game effort against the Mariners on August 26, 2016. The last pitcher to strike out at least 14 batters in six or fewer innings was Mike Fiers on August 14, 2014 against the Cubs.
Following Sunday’s effort, López now has a 6.03 ERA with 39 strikeouts and 17 walks in 31 1/3 innings this season.
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.