Bryce Harper plays left field, goes 2-for-3 in Double-A debut

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Batting sixth and playing an unfamiliar left field, Bryce Harper went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored Monday in his debut for Double-A Harrisburg.

The Senators ended up beating Erie 8-1 in front of a record crowd of 8,092.  The previous high crowd at Metro Bank Park was 8,078 for last year’s All-Star Game.

Harper hit third and played right field and center field for low Single-A Hagerstown prior to his promotion, so Monday was quite a change for him.  It was his first time in left field as a pro.

Harper, of course, immediately became the prospect on the Senators’ roster with his promotion, overtaking right-hander Brad Peacock and catcher Derek Norris.  However, it was the other two who truly shined Monday.  Peacock pitched six scoreless innings for the win, striking out nine, and Norris hit his 11th and 12th homers of the season.

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.