Reid Brignac sidelined by “nasty little” foot injury, could miss Opening Day

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Reid Brignac will be shut down for at least a few days with what manager Joe Maddon called “a plantar fasciitis kind of a thing” and a “nasty little” foot injury.

Maddon indicated to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times that the injury could keep Brignac from beginning the season on the active roster, in which case Sean Rodriguez would be the Opening Day shortstop.

And based on how Maddon described the injury, it sounds pretty bad:

You’ve just got to treat it, and eventually, I guess, it rips, and when it rips then you have to treat it at that particular moment, too. But for right now that’s what he’s got going on. It’s awkward, it’s one of the most awkward injuries I’ve ever heard about. There’s no definitive way to treat it, you’re going to be in pain, you can still run on it, it’s still going to hurt, you know that. And then you have to wait for the sheath to rip, for it to heal itself. So it’s just a weird position.

Plantar fasciitis has ruined athletes in every sport, so even if Brignac can make it back into the lineup for the season opener his foot problems could be an issue all season.

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.