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Edwin Encarnación exits game due to strained oblique

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More injury news for the Yankees. DH Edwin Encarnación exited the first game of Thursday’s doubleheader against the Tigers due to a strained left oblique, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Encarnación will return to New York for further testing, but oblique injuries usually require a stint on the 10-day injured list and they’re almost never for the minimum 10 days.

Encarnación was 1-for-2 with a walk and a two-run home run off of Matthew Boyd before exiting following a walk in the fifth inning. Encarnación recently returned after a month on the injured list between August 4 and September 2 due to a fractured right wrist. In 486 plate appearances this season, 197 of which have come with the Yankees, he’s hitting .244/.344/.531 with 34 home runs, 86 RBI, and 81 runs scored.

While Encarnación was absent last time, the Yankees used a rotating cast of characters in the DH role and that will figure to be the case for the remainder of the regular season. It remains to be seen if a defined role will develop in the postseason. After winning the first game of the doubleheader, the Yankees own a comfortable nine-game lead over the Rays for first place in the AL East with 15 games remaining.

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.