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Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright suspended 15 games for domestic violence

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Even Drellich of NBC Sports Boston has learned that Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright will be suspended 15 games for violating MLB’s domestic violence policy. The announcement should come from MLB at any moment. Wright will begin the season on the disabled list and will not serve his suspension until he is healthy.

Wright was arrested at his Tennessee home in December following an incident involving his wife, Shannon. Wright was charged with domestic assault and preventing a 911 call, which are misdemeanors in Tennessee, and released on a $2,500 bond.

The case in December was retired by a Williamson County, Tennessee judge. If Wright stays out of trouble for a 12-month span from the time the case was placed on hold, the charges are expected to be dropped. Likely because of that this is a short suspension by MLB’s domestic violence policy standards, but the league’s policy does provide for discipline even in the absent of legal charges.

Wright made only five starts in 2017 due to knee problems. He had season-ending surgery in May. Over parts of five seasons, the knuckleballer owns a 3.97 ERA in 287 2/3 innings.

UPDATE: The discipline is now official. From Rob Manfred’s statement:

“My office has completed its investigation into the events leading up to Steven Wright’s arrest on the evening of December 8, 2017.  Mr. Wright cooperated with the investigation.  While it is clear that Mr. Wright regrets what transpired that evening, takes full responsibility for his actions, and has committed himself to the treatment and counseling components of the Policy, I have concluded that Mr. Wright’s conduct on December 8th violated the Policy and warrants discipline.

“In addition to serving a 15-game suspension, Mr. Wright has agreed to speak to other players about what he has learned through this process, and to donate time and money to local organizations aimed at the prevention of, and the treatment of victims of, domestic violence.”

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.