Red Sox slugger Mookie Betts was removed from Sunday’s lineup after experiencing tightness in his left side, according to a team announcement. It’s not clear exactly when or how Betts sustained the injury, but he’s considered day-to-day while the Red Sox try to determine whether the issue is more serious than it appears.
Betts, 25, has managed to steer clear of the disabled list throughout his five-year career in the majors. He dealt with a minor bout of hamstring tightness earlier this season and was temporarily held back with a contusion in his right shoulder, but has yet to suffer any significant injuries. Through Saturday, he boasted a .359/.437/.750 batting line with a league-leading 19 doubles, 17 home runs, and 1.187 OPS through 213 PA.
Blake Swihart took Betts’ place in left field for Sunday’s series finale against the Braves. It’s his first start in the outfield since June 2016. The Red Sox currently trail the Braves 4-0 in the fifth inning.
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.