UPDATE: Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that an MRI on Pearce’s abdominal showed no tears. He’s considered day-to-day.
10:36 a.m. ET: Steve Pearce was forced to exit last night’s game against the Twins with a right abdominal strain and Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that he was scheduled to undergo an MRI this morning.
Pearce initially felt the discomfort Thursday and it lingered into his first at-bat last night. While he’s confident that it’s nothing serious, he didn’t want make things worse and put himself at risk for missing the rest of the season.
“I’m not all that concerned,” Pearce said after the game. “It’s not affecting me during anything else. I’m not in pain doing [anything], even when I swing. I just feel something there, and so I just want to get ahead of it. Hopefully, I can get back and get back pretty soon.”
The injury comes at an unfortunate time for Pearce, who has been the Orioles’ most productive hitter recently. After hitting a bit of a rough patch, he’s hitting .326 (15-for-46) with five home runs and five doubles over his last 12 games. The 31-year-old owns a surprising .289/.354/.532 batting line with 16 home runs and 37 RBI over 85 games this season.
The Associated Press reported that on Monday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th District 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.
The Rockies announced on Monday that outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and pitcher Tyler Anderson were placed on the 10-day disabled list. The club activated reliever Chad Qualls from the disabled list and recalled reliever Jairo Diaz from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Gonzalez, 31, is dealing with a strained right shoulder. He’s in the midst of his worst season, batting .221/.300/.348 with six home runs and 20 RBI in 277 plate appearances. Gonzalez is a free agent after the season and has been commonly brought up in trade discussions, but his latest injury and underwhelming season will make it difficult for the Rockies to get anything meaningful in return this summer.
Anderson, 27, has inflammation in his left knee. He dealt with a knee problem earlier this season, so the injury seems to have been reaggravated. The lefty has an ugly 6.11 ERA with a 63/23 K/BB ratio in 63 1/3 innings this season.
Qualls, 38, went on the disabled list earlier this month with back spasms. He had previously been dealing with forearm inflammation, so it’s been a rough year for the veteran. He is carrying a 4.60 ERA with a 9/5 K/BB ratio in 15 2/3 innings.
Diaz, 26, hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2015. He has appeared in only eight games at Triple-A as he opened the season on the disabled list after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. So far, Diaz has allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks with nine strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.