Brewers’ top pitching prospect Josh Hader was recalled from Triple-A Colorado Springs on Friday, per a club announcement. Comments from general manager David Stearns indicated that the left-hander will be available out of the Brewers’ bullpen for the time being, and could debut during the team’s weekend series against the Diamondbacks. Right-hander Paolo Espino has been optioned to Triple-A to clear roster space for Hader.
Hader, 23, garnered a No. 3 ranking by MLB.com prior to the 2017 season, and landed in the No. 2 spots on both Baseball Prospectus and Baseball America’s preseason rankings. His results on the mound have been less impressive, with a 5.37 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 through 52 innings in Colorado Springs. He caught a bit of a break last week, shutting out Triple-A Nashville and Oklahoma City in back-to-back starts with two hits, two walks and eight strikeouts.
With or without Hader’s control issues, however, the Brewers’ relief corps could use the extra support right now. They’ve racked up the second-most innings among major league bullpens in 2017, with 223, and currently sport a collective 4.16 ERA to boot.
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.