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Yankees hire Matt Blake as pitching coach

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The New York Yankees hired Matt Blake as their new pitching coach, poaching one of the key cogs in the Cleveland Indians‘ pitching-development machine as the replacement for longtime coach Larry Rothschild, sources told ESPN.

Blake, who was promoted two days ago by Cleveland to director of pitching development, adds a coach well-versed in analytics and progressive pitching philosophies to a Yankees organization that focused its search on younger coaches – including a handful who work at the collegiate level. They interviewed Michigan’s Chris Fetter and Arkansas’ Matt Hobbs, and Arizona’s Nate Yeskie and TCU’s Kirk Saarloos turned down opportunities to talk about the job. The Yankees also interviewed David Cone, the former Cy Young winner who is a broadcaster on the team’s YES Network.

The rapid ascent of Blake started in 2015, when he was still serving as pitching coach for Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High outside Boston. Blake’s reputation had grown within the industry due to his work with Eric Cressey, the New England-based performance coach. Blake did some scouting work in the area for the Yankees. Then Cleveland, which has arguably the most robust pitching factory in baseball, hired him as a pitching coordinator.

Quickly he became an indispensable figure in the Indians’ organization, spending the last four years with the Indians as they regularly churned out quality major league pitchers. This season alone, starters Zach Plesac, Aaron Civale and Jefry Rodriguez along with reliever James Karinchak came through the farm system to debut, and starter Shane Bieber developed into an All-Star.

With the Yankees, Blake will be tasked with imparting information given by the Yankees’ analytics department as well as the hands-on coaching that one source who has worked with Blake said “he excels at.” The balance between the two could be Blake’s biggest challenge, though the Yankees grew confident that his acumen in both regards will lead to an even better pitching staff.

The Yankees ranked sixth in the American League last year with a 4.31 ERA and spent most of the season juggling their rotation with injuries to No. 1 starter Luis Severino and back-of-the-rotation left-hander Jordan Montgomery. Both are expected to be healthy come next spring and join a rotation that also could include Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Domingo German and J.A. Happ. The Yankees also are expected to pursue free agent Gerrit Cole this winter.

Earlier this week, New York re-signed closer Aroldis Chapman, and he will return in a stacked bullpen with Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino, Tommy Kahnle and Chad Green.

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2020 Leaderboards – ESPN

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A Los Golpes ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 Cronmetro ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 El diario de Martn ESPN Radio May 27, 2020 Es as y punto con Hernn Pereyra ESPN Radio May 28, 2020 ESPN Radio Frmula ESPN Radio Mar 27, 2020 Ftbol Picante ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Jorge Ramos y Su Banda ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 La Butaca ESPN Radio May 27, 2020 Los Capitanes ESPN Radio Mar 27, 2020 NFL Live ESPN Radio Mar 27, 2020 Nos ponemos las pilas con Fernando Palomo ESPN Radio May 19, 2020 Raza Deportiva ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 30 For 30 Podcasts ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 ESPORTS ESPN Radio May 22, 2020 FiveThirtyEight Politics ESPN Radio May 28, 2020 Around The Rim ESPN Radio May 4, 2020 Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show ESPN Radio May 27, 2020 SC Featured ESPN Radio Mar 25, 2020 The Jump ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 The Bill Barnwell Show ESPN Radio May 20, 2020 Matty & The Caddie ESPN Radio May 27, 2020 College Football Live ESPN Radio May 19, 2020 espnW presents Be Honest with Cari Champion ESPN Radio Mar 25, 2020 ESPN Media Conference Calls ESPN Radio Apr 20, 2020 The Right Time with Bomani Jones ESPN Radio May 28, 2020 Mornings with Keyshawn, LZ and Travis ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 First Draft ESPN Radio Apr 29, 2020 The Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Freddie and Fitzsimmons ESPN Radio Mar 12, 2020 NFL Live ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 98.7 ESPN New York: Dave Rothenberg ESPN Radio May 30, 2020 DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Caught Offside ESPN Radio May 26, 2020 ESPN FC ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Best of ESPNLA ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 Jalen & Jacoby ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 The Lowe Post ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 Cheap Heat with Peter Rosenberg ESPN Radio May 28, 2020 Spain and Company ESPN Radio Mar 25, 2020 The Paul Finebaum Show ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 Marty and McGee ESPN Radio Mar 25, 2020 Around the Horn ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 Baseball Tonight with Buster Olney ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Behind the Bets with Doug Kezirian ESPN Radio May 28, 2020 Golic and Wingo ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Highly Questionable ESPN Radio May 28, 2020 Outside The Lines ESPN Radio Mar 23, 2020 Courtside with Greenberg & Dakich ESPN Radio May 26, 2020 Fantasy Focus Baseball ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 Fantasy Focus Football ESPN Radio May 19, 2020 First Take ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny ESPN Radio May 27, 2020 ESPN Podcasts ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 ESPN On Ice with Wyshynski and Kaplan ESPN Radio May 27, 2020 In The Gate ESPN Radio May 28, 2020 Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective ESPN Radio Jun 1, 2020 PTI ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 The Will Cain Show ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap ESPN Radio May 29, 2020 Caught Offside ESPN New York May 26, 2020 The Michael Kay Show ESPN New York May 29, 2020 98.7 ESPN New York: Dave Rothenberg ESPN New York May 30, 2020 DiPietro, Canty & Rothenberg ESPN New York Jun 1, 2020 Best of ESPN New York ESPN New York Jun 1, 2020 Mason & Ireland ESPN Los Angeles May 29, 2020 The Sedano Show ESPN Los Angeles May 29, 2020 Weekend Warrior ESPN Los Angeles May 30, 2020 Best of ESPNLA ESPN Los Angeles May 29, 2020

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Nationals reverse course, restore minor league pay after Sean Doolittle’s pledge

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WASHINGTON — The Nationals changed course and told their minor leaguers on Monday they will receive their full weekly stipends of $400 at least through June after Washington reliever Sean Doolittle tweeted that the team’s major league players would cover a planned cut in those payments.

Doolittle wrote on Twitter that Nationals major leaguers held a video conference call after The Athletic reported Sunday the club would be releasing more than two dozen minor league players and reducing stipends for players in the minors from $400 to $300 per week.

A text message sent by the Nationals to players in the minors and forwarded Monday to The Associated Press reads: “Upon further internal discussion, you will receive your full stipend of $400 per week through the month of June. We will consider future payments on a month to month basis. Thank you!”

It’s not unusual for big league teams to release minor leaguers at this time of year, although not normally this many. More than 400 young players have been cut with the minor league season in doubt amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Athletic reported that 40 players were cut by the Nationals.

Minor league players not on 40-man rosters were promised $400 per week through Sunday by a policy drafted by MLB. Including Washington’s switch, now at least 16 teams have promised to extend those allowances through the end of this month.

After the report about Washington’s reduction in that stipend, Doolittle wrote Sunday night that Nationals major leaguers decided unanimously that they “will be coming together and committing funds to make whole the lost wages.”

“All of us were minor leaguers at one point in our careers and we know how important the weekly stipends are for them and their families during these uncertain times,” Doolittle wrote. “Minor leaguers are an essential part of our organization and they are bearing the heaviest burden of this situation as their season is likely to be cancelled.”

Doolittle isn’t the only major leaguer to pledge support for minor leaguers. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price plans to give each minor leaguer not on the 40-man roster in that franchise’s system $1,000 for the month of June, sources told ESPN, confirming a report by Francys Romero. The Dodgers had already committed to paying their minor leaguers $400-per-week stipends through the end of June.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Nationals players to cover minor leaguers’ lost weekly stipend wages, Sean Doolittle says

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The Washington Nationals‘ major league players have pledged to cover minor leaguers’ lost wages from their weekly stipends, pitcher Sean Doolittle announced on social media.

Last week, the Nationals cut their minor leaguers’ weekly stipend from $400 to $300 per week, according to multiple reports. That came as hundreds of minor leaguers across baseball lost their jobs — with cuts more expected — with the cancellation of the minor league season a near certainty, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

On Sunday, Doolittle posted a statement on Twitter vowing to help out the minor leaguers in his organization.

“All of us were minor leaguers at one point in our careers and we know how important the weekly stipends are for them and their families during these uncertain times,” he wrote.

“Minor leaguers are an essential part of our organization and they are bearing the heaviest burden of this situation as their season is likely to be cancelled. We recognize that and want to stand with them in support.”

Doolittle isn’t the only major leaguer to pledge support for minor leaguers. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price plans to give each minor leaguer not on the 40-man roster in that franchise’s system $1,000 for the month of June, sources told ESPN, confirming a report by Francys Romero. The Dodgers had already committed to paying their minor leaguers $400-per-week stipends through the end of June.

For more than a year, MLB has planned to contract about a quarter of minor league teams before the 2021 season. And with a drastically shortened amateur draft this year — just five rounds instead of the typical 40 — and the delay of international free-agent signings until as late as Jan. 15, minor league systems could become as thin as they have been in years.

All teams agreed to pay minor league players $400 a week in April and May to cover wages lost because of canceled games during the coronavirus pandemic. The $400 salary was given by MLB regardless of what the players were supposed to make, and went to hundreds of players who had been contracted to make several times that amount.

The Oakland Athletics told their minor league players they would no longer receive the stipend starting in June, drawing significant criticism. At least 16 teams have said they will pay minor league players beyond the policy’s May 31 expiration date.



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