Nationals starter Patrick Corbin and the late Tyler Skaggs came up through the Angels’ minor league system together and went to the Diamondbacks together in the Dan Haren trade. One can understand that Corbin was particularly devastated to hear yesterday that Skaggs died.
MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reports that Corbin will wear the number 45 on his uniform for tonight’s start against the Marlins to honor his friend. Skaggs wore No. 45 since joining the Angels. Manger Davey Martinez said, “He wants to pitch. He feels like it’s what he needs to do.” Corbin normally wears No. 46.
We’re all rooting for the Angels and for Corbin tonight.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.