The honeymoon is over.
Willie Bloomquist, who hit .394 with eight runs scored and six steals in his first seven games with the Diamondbacks, went on the disabled list Monday because of a strained hamstring suffered during Thursday’s game.
Veteran utilityman Josh Wilson was called up to replace him.
Bloomquist had been slumping of late anyway, going 6-for-29 with three runs scored since his fast start. The Diamondbacks are playing Gerardo Parra regularly in left field because of Bloomquist’s injury, and he’s responded by going 7-for-16 over the last four games.
When Bloomquist returns, it will probably be to a significantly lesser role. He spent the first week of the season replacing an injured Stephen Drew at shortstop, and the move to left came as a way to keep his hot bat in the lineup after Drew returned.
Somewhat disappointing is that the Diamondbacks didn’t use the opportunity to promote the red-hot Wily Mo Pena from Triple-A Reno. Pena, who has hit .420/.473/.820 with six homers in the early going, could have provided Parra with some serious competition in left. However, with Melvin Mora banged up and neither he nor Ryan Roberts able to function as much more than an emergency shortstop, another infielder was needed.
Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.
The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.
The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.
In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.