David Robertson
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David Robertson to miss 2020 season

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Jake Arrieta isn’t the only pitcher expected to miss serious time this year. According to multiple reports, closer David Robertson underwent Tommy John surgery on Thursday, effectively putting him on the shelf through the 2020 season.

Robertson, 34, developed a Grade 1 flexor strain in his right elbow back in April, and has been laid up ever since. There was some speculation that he might be able to begin a throwing program in mid-May, but he was shut down shortly after playing catch and did not make any significant progress in the months that followed. He underwent both Tommy John surgery and a procedure to repair the flexor tendon on Thursday and will require 14-16 months of recovery.

Prior to his injured list assignment, the veteran closer struggled through just seven appearances in the majors, issuing four runs, six walks, and six strikeouts over 6 2/3 innings. It’ll be some time before he can work back up to the totals he produced with the Yankees in 2018, during which he recorded five saves with a 3.23 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 11.8 SO/9, and 1.5 fWAR through 69 2/3 innings.

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.