Carlos Santana remains absent from Indians’ lineup

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Indians catcher Carlos Santana hasn’t played in a game since Wednesday due to soreness in his back and side. He was expected to serve as the Tribe’s designated hitter Sunday, but it won’t be happening.

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that Santana is out of the starting lineup for a fourth straight game this afternoon in Baltimore. But he’s feeling much improved and was “very surprised” by manager Manny Acta’s decision to rest him for another day.

Santana should be back in action Monday night.

The 26-year-old has registered a .220/.337/.336 batting line with five home runs and 29 RBI in 63 games this season for second-place Cleveland.

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.