A few days after his April 11 start against the Marlins in which he couldn’t get through the fifth inning, Phillies starter A.J. Burnett was diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. He said he would pitch through the rest of the season with it rather than undergo surgery.
So far, so good. Burnett picked up his first win of the season with eight shutout innings against the Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon, giving him three consecutive quality outings since his diagnosis:
- April 17 vs. Braves: 7 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 5 K (no-decision win)
- April 22 at Dodgers: 6 2/3 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 5 K (no-decision win)
- April 27 at Diamondbacks: 8 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 8 K (win)
- Total: 21 2/3 IP, 2 ER (0.83 ERA), 14 H, 3 BB, 18 K
Thus begins the trend of pitchers intentionally giving themselves inguinal hernias in order to pitch better.
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.