Aaron Judge
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Aaron Judge had a partially collapsed lung in addition to rib fracture

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Yankees slugger Aaron Judge spoke with reporters today about his recovery from the fractured rib that sidelined him for the duration of spring training. Judge said that a CT scan showed some improvement, and also revealed that he was diagnosed with a pneumothorax. For those of us who didn’t attend medical school, that’s a collapsed lung.

The Mayo Clinic says that a pneumothorax can be a partial or total collapse of the lung, and occurs when “air leaks into the space between your lung and chest wall. This air pushes on the outside of your lung and makes it collapse.” Evidently during either the initial injury or when Judge re-aggravated the rib, some air went into that space in his body. It’s amazing that he was able to do even the light work he had been limited to before the diagnosis.

Judge has plenty of time to heal. The baseball world (and the non-baseball world for that matter) has ground to a near-standstill because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The big right fielder will remain in Tampa to rehab the injury. It’s anyone’s guess as to when Opening Day will actually take place, if it happens at all, but the long break means that Yankees might be able to have their best hitter in the lineup when it’s time to play ball.

The Bombers also have Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Hicks on the mend, the prior from a calf strain and the latter from Tommy John surgery. New York could have their entire starting outfield at full strength if the season resumes in July.

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Nationals’ major leaguers to continue offering financial assistance to minor leaguers

Sean Doolittle
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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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.