Roy Oswalt scratched from Saturday start with back soreness

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Roy Oswalt rejoined the Phillies yesterday after leaving the team to be with his family in Mississippi following last week’s tornadoes and was expected to start Saturday, but Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that he’s been scratched from the start.

Oswalt is apparently still dealing with back soreness and could be headed for the disabled list, according to Salisbury.

In the meantime Kyle Kendrick will take his place tomorrow versus the Braves. Oswalt hasn’t pitched since April 26, when he allowed five runs in three innings and failed to record a strikeout against Arizona.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19

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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.