Jeff Francis set to return 15 months after surgery

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Jeff Francis last started a regular season game in September of 2008, but the Rockies left-hander is scheduled to rejoin the rotation Sunday nearly 15 months after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.
Francis’ first minor league rehab start didn’t go very well last week, but he tossed seven shutout innings in his second outing Tuesday at Double-A and will come off the disabled list to face the Nationals.
“A lot of time has passed since the last time I pitched,” Francis told Jack Etkin of InsideTheRockies.com. “I look forward to being out there and helping this team win a bunch of ballgames.”
Francis was a big part of the Rockies’ run to the World Series in 2007, going 17-9 with a 4.22 ERA in the regular season and 2-1 in the playoffs, but logged 232 innings after previously never topping 200 and went 4-10 with a 5.01 ERA in 2008 before shutting things down.

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.