Pitcher Jared Hughes asked for and was granted his release from the Astros organization on Thursday, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Hughes signed a minor league deal with the club last month.
Hughes, 34, had a forgettable spring before play was suspended. The right-hander yielded four runs on five hits and three walks with four strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Last season, with the Reds and Phillies, the veteran posted a 4.04 ERA with 54 strikeouts and 27 walks across 71 1/3 innings.
Hughes has had some dominant seasons in the not-so-distant past, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see him get another chance, especially once teams have a better idea about when the season will start back up.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.