The Phillies place Joe Blanton on the DL

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So much for that fifth starter’s race. Now that the Phillies have placed Joe Blanton on the 15-day disabled list with a strained oblique muscle, it looks like both Jamie Moyer and Kyle Kendrick will get to start, at least for a while.

Zolecki says Blanton could be out anywhere from 3-6 weeks. He also reminds us that both J.A. Happ and Clay Condrey — who was not, contrary to what I once thought, a member of the 1980s tag team the Midnight Express — had strained obliques last year. Happ only missed a couple of starts. Condrey missed a lot of time, but Zolecki says that Blanton’s injury is more like Happ’s.

Curt Schilling could not be reached for comment on these developments as of press time.

Report: Major League Baseball bans transactions with Mexican League teams

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.

Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.

Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.

There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.