San Jose responds to MLB’s motion to dismiss, hearing set for October 4

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The San Jose-Major League baseball lawsuit continues, with San Jose filing a response to Major League Baseball’s motion to dismiss. Major League Baseball will get a final reply and a hearing on the matter is set for October 4. The Mercury-News has a summary of it all.

Well, maybe not all. For while it does deal with the arguments the two sides have lobbed back and forth about whether Major League Baseball is entitled to maintain its antitrust exemption, nowhere in the story does it mention Major League Baseball’s better, stronger argument about how the city of San Jose doesn’t have legal standing to challenge it.  I’ve talked about that extensively.

I believe that, if for some reason the court decides that San Jose does have standing, the anti-trust exemption and Major League Baseball could be in serious legal trouble here. But that’s a huge, unlikely “if,” and I am having a really hard time seeing how San Jose gets over that threshold.

But boy howdy if they do, get the popcorn, because this will be a total blast.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.