Last week, Rangers outfielder Willie Calhoun was hit in the face by a Julio Urías pitch in the first inning of a Cactus League game against the Dodgers. Calhoun was carted off and taken to a hospital, where a CT scan indicated a fractured jaw. He later had a plate inserted to stabilize his jaw.
In the time since, the start of the regular season has been pushed back to at least mid-May due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) precautions. That gives Calhoun some time to recover. In fact, the 25-year-old says he will be ready whenever the season starts, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
It was believed at the time that Nick Solak, Scott Heineman, and/or Adolis García could have seen increased playing time while Calhoun was on the mend, but that appears to no longer be the case.
Last season, in his first run of consistent playing time in the majors, Calhoun hit .269/.323/.524 with 21 home runs and 48 RBI over 337 plate appearances. The former top prospect, who ranked as high as No. 36 in baseball according to Baseball America prior to the 2018 season, has to be exciting the Rangers and their fans despite the freak injury.
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.