Last week when the Chicago Cubs signed Carlos González to a minor league deal I said that “González will have to prove himself in Iowa and hope for a break.” I guess he only needed two games at Iowa to prove himself to get that break, because the Cubs called him up today. He’ll be batting fifth and playing right field this afternoon against the Angels at Wrigley Field.
The Indians designated González for assignment a week ago after he batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
To make room for González the Cubs sent down outfielder Jim Adduci.
If you followed my running jokes from last year about Aducci being a time-traveler from early 1960s America (long story), you’ll know that he probably left Chicago for Iowa in his 1962 Buick Skylark Sport Coupe, complete with the simulated top-bow creases pressed into the sheet metal. Man, those GM sport coupes were sharp. Too bad they only lasted three model years.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.