Lance Berkman receives cortisone shot in knee

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Lance Berkman headshot.jpgLance Berkman had his right knee drained for a fifth time and received a cortisone shot on Monday, according to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com. The 34-year-old first baseman underwent arthroscopic surgery last month, and after a series of recent setbacks, he doesn’t sound any closer to returning from the disabled list.

“My wife asked me that today and I think she’s tired of me moping around
the house,” Berkman said. “I have no idea [when I’ll return]. I really
wish I could tell you an accurate prediction of when I thought I would
be ready to go. It isn’t right this second, but I’m hopeful it will be
soon.”

The Astros, who were dominated by Tim Lincecum on Monday and have been held to just four hits on Tuesday thus far, will sorely miss his presence in the middle of the lineup. They’ve already went to the lengths of moving Pedro Feliz over to first base just to roll the dice with rookie Chris Johnson at third.

Rockies acquire Zac Rosscup from Cubs

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The Rockies announced a minor swap of relief pitchers on Monday evening. The Cubs sent lefty Zac Rosscup to the Rockies in exchange for right-hander Matt Carasiti.

Rosscup, 29, was designated for assignment by the Cubs last Thursday. He spent only two-thirds of an inning in the majors this year and has a 5.32 career ERA across 47 1/3 innings. Rosscup has spent most of the season with Triple-A Iowa, posting a 2.60 ERA in 27 2/3 innings.

Carasiti, 25, spent 15 2/3 innings in the majors last year, putting up an ugly 9.19 ERA. With Triple-A Albuquerque this season, he compiled a 2.37 ERA and a 43/13 K/BB ratio in 30 1/3 innings.

U.S. Court of Appeals affirms ruling that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law

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The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed a district court ruling which holds that the minor leagues are exempt from federal antitrust law, just like the major leagues.

In 2015, four minor leaguers sued Major League Baseball, alleging that MLB violated antitrust laws with its hiring and employment policies. They accused MLB of “restrain[ing] horizontal competition between and among” franchises and “artificially and illegally depressing” the salaries of minor league players.

The U.S. Court of Appeals said the players failed to state an antitrust claim, as the Curt Flood Act of 1998 exempted Minor League Baseball explicitly from antitrust laws.

This case is separate from the Aaron Senne case in which Major League Baseball is accused of violating the Fair Labor Standards Act. That case was recertified as a class action lawsuit in March. In December, Major League Baseball established a political action committee (PAC), which came months after two members of Congress sought to change language in the FLSA so that minor league players could continue to be paid substandard wages.