Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times tweeted late Saturday night that Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been diagnosed with a fracture at the tip of his right pinkie finger. It’s horrible news, especially when you consider how important Ethier has been for the red-hot 19-17 Dodgers this season.
Ethier, 28, leads the team in home runs (with 11), RBI (38) and OPS (1201). He’s also sporting a Major League-best .392 batting average through 125 at-bats this season and has tallied 11 game-winning hits since 2008.
The Dodgers have not revealed enough information to give us a clear picture of how the fracture might affect Ethier moving forward. Many players in the past have been able to fight through tiny breaks and continue slugging. Then again, others have required surgeries and long stays on the disabled list. We should all know more once the outfielder is reevaluated Sunday in Los Angeles.
If he is forced the miss time, the Dodgers could call up Xavier Paul, who is doing quite well this season at Triple-A Albuquerque with a .382/.427/.60 batting line in 76 at-bats. Garret Anderson could also be asked to play more frequently in the outfield. And same goes for Reed Johnson.
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.
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.