Phillies starter Vince Velasquez left Tuesday’s start in Miami against the Marlins with a right flexor strain, the Phillies announced. Flexor injuries are serious, so Velasquez is certainly going to undergo an MRI, which will then determine the exact severity of the injury and a timetable for his recovery.
The 24-year-old right-hander lasted just 1 1/3 innings, yielding two runs (one earned) on two hits with no walks and one strikeout. Velasquez has struggled overall this season. He came into his start against the Marlins with a 5.55 ERA with a 52/21 K/BB ratio in 48 2/3 innings.
The Phillies acquired Velasquez as part of the return from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade in December 2015. Velasquez showed promise at times out of the rotation last season, such as his 16-strikeout shutout of the Padres in April 2016. But he’s been mostly inconsistent, a common theme among the Phillies’ youngsters.
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.