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Noah Syndergaard to start Friday

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Mets starter Noah Syndergaard is scheduled to return to the Mets’ rotation Friday against the Nationals.

All that he has to do between now and then is get through a bullpen session tomorrow. Which, normally, would not be a big deal but the last time he was a bullpen session away from returning his finger swelled up and he had to start all over again. This time things seem a bit better, though, as he looked good in a minor league rehab outing over the weekend at Low-A Brooklyn.

Syndergaard has been out since late May with a strained ligament in his right index finger. He’s 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/13 in 64.2 innings on the year.

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.