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A.J. Pollock to miss 4-8 weeks with avulsion fracture in left thumb

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Diamondbacks outfielder A.J. Pollock has been diagnosed with an avulsion fracture in his left thumb and is expected to miss the next four to eight weeks, the club announced. An avulsion fracture happens near where bone attaches to a tendon or ligament. During the fracture, the tendon or ligament is torn away and takes a small piece of bone with it. Pollock suffered the injury diving to catch a Tyler Saladino line drive during Monday’s game against the Brewers.

Pollock, 30, has been among the best players in baseball this season, batting .293/.349/.620 with 11 home runs, 33 RBI, 23 runs scored, and nine stolen bases in 166 plate appearances. This is obviously a big loss for the Diamondbacks, who enter play Tuesday leading the NL West with a 24-17 record.

Jarrod Dyson and Chris Owings are likely to handle center field while Pollock recovers.

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.