Cole Hamels hoping to start Tuesday despite hand injury

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Cole Hamels exited yesterday’s game in the fifth inning after taking an Adrian Gonzalez line drive off his non-pitching hand and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com reports that he “had his visibly swollen and bruised right hand bandaged this morning.”

However, the X-rays came back negative and Hamels said he’s hoping not to miss a turn in the rotation. His next scheduled start is Tuesday against the Marlins, but his status will be determined by how his bullpen session goes tomorrow.

In addition to the hand injury Hamels is also dealing with … well, I’ll let David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News explain:

Mystery solved on Hamels’ chin bandage. He had an infected zit. Along with handwrap, he looks like Million Dollar Baby.

Just to be safe, let’s keep him away from stools for a while, huh?

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.