Rockies' De La Rosa shelled in final rehab start

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Rockies starter Jorge De La Rosa has been out of commission since April 25 due to a torn tendon in the middle finger of his throwing hand.  He had been aiming to return to the Colorado starting rotation next week, but the left-hander may be stuck on his rehab assignment for a little while longer.

Making what was supposed to be his final rehab start Saturday at Triple-A Colorado Springs, De La Rosa allowed eight runs — seven earned — over 4 1/3 innings, according to Thomas Harding and Joey Nowak of MLB.com.  He surrendered 10 hits, five of which went for extra bases.

The Rox could throw out the results and activate him this week anyway, but they do have options.  Jhoulys Chacin is supposed to get the boot when De La Rosa returns from the disabled list, but the 22-year-old has posted a 3.59 ERA, a 1.29 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 72.2 innings this season.  Would it hurt to stick with him for one week longer while De La Rosa builds some confidence against lesser competition?

Major League Baseball to launch an elite league for high schoolers

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This morning Major League Baseball announced a new elite league for high school baseball players who are likely to be drafted. It’s called the Prospect Development Pipeline League. It’ll start next summer and it’ll invite 80 of the best current high school juniors to play in a league in Florida from June through early July, culminating in an All-Star Game during MLB’s All-Star week.

The idea behind the league: to combat the current system in which a couple of pay-to-play, for-profit showcase leagues dominate the pre-draft season. Major League Baseball, schools and a lot of players’ parents have criticized this system because it favors rich kids who can afford to play in them. Major League Baseball is also likely quite keen on having greater control over the training, health and physical monitoring of prospects.

As Jeff Passan notes in his report about this, there will be a component of the program which involves live data-tracking of players during games and drills. Major League Baseball has become increasingly interested in such things but is limited in how much it can do in this regard due to labor agreements. There is no such impediment with high schoolers. Your mileage will vary when it comes to how you feel about that, I presume.