The Atlanta Braves have optioned pitcher Touki Toussaint to Triple-A Gwinnett.
He pitched well this spring and he’s flashed some spiffy stuff in the past, so he’ll likely be pitching for the big club at some point when baseball resumes, but it was pretty inevitable that he’d start the year up the road at Gwinnett. Not a big move, of course, but there’s not a lot to talk about.
It does make me wonder how such decisions are made at a time like this. If things were normal maybe he goes to the minor league camp now to be on a certain schedule for their season to start. Now it sort of doesn’t matter. Is Braves GM Alex Anthopoulos doing what I’m doing, sitting around, casting about for things to do, and going, “eh, let’s send Touki down.” Maybe the Braves front office is just working remotely like everyone and they have a Friday morning conference call to handle a couple of days’ worth of work.
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 have not withdrawn their generosity.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.