MLB.com’s Martín Gallegos reports that the Athletics will call up pitching prospect A.J. Puk from Triple-A Las Vegas ahead of Tuesday’s series opener against the Yankees.
Puk, 24, was selected by the A’s in the first round (sixth overall) in the 2016 draft. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the organization’s No. 2 prospect behind Jesús Luzardo, and No. 43 across the league.
Puk made his season debut on June 11 with High-A Stockton after recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 25 1/3 innings across three levels of the minors this year, Puk has allowed 16 runs (14 earned) on 21 hits and 10 walks with 38 strikeouts.
The A’s are expected to use Puk out of the bullpen. A good showing for Puk, however, could earn him some points towards earning a spot in the starting rotation going into next season.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.