Astros number one pick Brady Aiken has “an elbow ligament issue”

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Remember that story in Sports Illustrated a couple of weeks ago about the Astros’ being the “2017 World Series Champs?” Well, that was an on-paper thing. Baseball has this habit, however, of not playing out on paper. And the biggest off-paper thing are pitcher injuries. Like this:

That’s some seriously bad news for both Aiken and the Astros.

Bad news for Aiken in that he had agreed to a $6.5 million bonus with Houston, and now that looks to be in jeopardy.

Bad news for the Astros in that he’s the third straight number one overall pick for the Astros and the third straight to experience a bump in the road. They selected shortstop Carlos Correa first overall in 2012 and pitcher Mark Appel last year. Correa fractured his leg last month and is out for the season. Appel has struggled in the low level minors and has recently had a bout with thumb problems.

You can draft perfectly and develop perfectly, but sometimes the fates don’t want to comply.

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.