Ryan Madson flies to Cincinnati for elbow exam

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With the Reds still being all hush-hush on his condition, Ryan Madson will travel to Cincinnati to have his ailing elbow examined by Dr. Tim Kremchek on Thursday.

Madson was expected to pitch in a minor league game today, but it was announced last night that he was being scratched. Neither Madson nor team officials have had much to say about the elbow.

“Nothing yet,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s won’t be analyzed until tomorrow. He went back to Cincinnati. We won’t know anything until tomorrow.”

Madson looked like one of the bargains of the offseason, signing a one-year deal with the Reds after a four-year pact to stay with the Phillies fell through. If Cincinnati gets bad news tomorrow, it could influence the team’s decision on what to do with Aroldis Chapman. There’s talk that Chapman could be kept as the fifth starter over Homer Bailey, but he may be more attractive as closer insurance if Madson has to miss a chunk of the season.

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.