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Collin McHugh to be shut down for six weeks with elbow impingement

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Astros’ right-hander Collin McHugh has been shut down for six weeks, the team announced on Saturday. McHugh was diagnosed with posterior impingement in his right elbow, though the MRI did not reveal structural damage indicative of a UCL tear.

The veteran righty landed on the 10-day disabled list last Sunday with right shoulder tendonitis and was scheduled to make a rehab start in Triple-A Fresno. He pitched through one inning before exiting the game with elbow and biceps tightness and flew back to Houston to undergo further evaluation. He’ll be re-evaluated after six weeks and likely won’t be cleared to return to the mound until mid- to late May at the earliest.

Prior to his setback this spring, McHugh worked a 4.34 ERA, 2.6 BB/9 and 8.6 SO/9 over 184 2/3 innings with the Astros. The club is expected to utilize right-handers Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers in the back end of their rotation until McHugh’s return.

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.