Rob Bradford of WEEI reports that free agent pitcher Rich Hill underwent “primary and revision surgery” on his left elbow in late October and won’t be ready for the start of the 2020 season. Bradford says Hill is unlikely to return before June or maybe until the All-Star break
Hill, who will turn 40 early next year, dealt with a flexor strain during the 2019 campaign but still posted a 2.45 ERA over 13 starts with the Dodgers. When he felt good he was still effective. When he didn’t, he couldn’t go. Given that he wasn’t losing it when he could pitch, there will likely be some interest in Hill as a mid-season rotation upgrade despite the surgery.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.