The Sox offense was not the problem for most of the season, but it definitely took a downward turn when David Ortiz went out with an achilles injury in mid July. It’s too late to save the season now, but Ortiz is finally coming back from this week.
Ortiz tells Sean McAdam of CSNNewEngland.com that he won’t play Tuesday, but:
But I’m finally feeling better. Hopefully before (the team leaves for its Aug. 26 road trip). We’ll see how it goes once I start running. Hopefully (on the homestand). If things continue the way they are, yeah.”
Ortiz is hitting .316/.414/.609 with 23 home runs in just 89 games on the season. It’s doubtful the season could have been salvaged if he had been here all month, but it’s pretty much sunk now regardless.
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.