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Twins call up Brusdar Graterol

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The Twins selected the contract of top pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol on Sunday, marking one of the most anticipated arrivals of the league’s annual roster expansion. Graterol is expected to make his debut relatively soon and will pitch out of the bullpen to begin his Major League career.

The 21-year-old hurler currently ranks no. 3 in the Twins’ organization and no. 54 overall, per MLB Pipeline. Several years removed from a 2016 Tommy John surgery, he boasts an upper-90s fastball and solid secondary and tertiary pitches, and made the jump to both Double-A and Triple-A during his age-20 season in 2019.

During his trek through the Twins’ minor-league system, the right-handed Graterol has been developed as a starter, though he’ll ease into a full workload by working out of Minnesota’s ‘pen for an unspecified stretch after his call-up this month. He pitched to an impressive 7-0 record in 11 starts with a 1.92 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, and 9.0 SO/9 across 61 combined innings at rookie-level ball, Double-A Pensacola, and Triple-A Rochester this season.

In a slew of additional moves, the Twins added outfielders LaMonte Wade Jr., Byron Buxton, and Ian Miller, catcher Willians Astudillo, right-handers Zack Littell and Kohl Stewart, and left-handers Lewis Thorpe and Devin Smeltzer to the active roster.

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.