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Braves place Anthony Swarzak on injured list

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The Braves lost last night but they suffered a bigger blow earlier in the day when they placed reliever Anthony Swarzak on the injured list with inflammation in his pitching shoulder. The move was retroactive to Saturday.

Swarzak last pitched on Friday and managed to escape a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning. When he came off the mound, however, he complained of shoulder discomfort. Braves manager Brian Snitker said it is nothing structural and, at the moment anyway, he is optimistic that Swarzak will be able to return when the Braves resume action following the All-Star break.

Swarzak has been a godsend for the Braves since being acquired from the Mariners in late May, having allowed only one run and eight hits in 17.1 innings, striking out 21. He current has a streak of 13 consecutive scoreless innings. The Braves bullpen still has some issues, but before his arrival it was a train wreck. He has served as a stabilizing force over the past month and his loss will likely be felt.

Oakland Athletics reverse course, will continue to pay minor leaguers

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher has reversed course and will continue to pay minor leaguers. Fisher tells Slusser, “I concluded I made a mistake.” He said he is also setting up an assistance fund for furloughed employees.

The A’s decided in late May to stop paying paying minor leaguers as of June 1, which was the earliest date on which any club could do so after an MLB-wide agreement to pay minor leaguers through May 31 expired. In the event, the A’s were the only team to stop paying the $400/week stipends to players before the end of June. Some teams, notable the Royals and Twins, promised to keep the payments up through August 31, which is when the minor league season would’ve ended. The Washington Nationals decided to lop off $100 of the stipends last week but, after a day’s worth of blowback from the media and fans, reversed course themselves.