Drew Hutchison avoids surgery on elbow, shut down for 4-6 weeks

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Here’s some good news for the injury-riddled Blue Jays.

According to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said this afternoon that Drew Hutchison will not require Tommy John surgery. Hutchison was recently diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but he will be shut down for 4-6 weeks before resuming a throwing program.

There’s always the chance of a setback which would necessitate surgery, but Hutchison could rejoin the Jays later this season if the rehab process goes well. The 21-year-old right-hander made his major league debut two months ago and posted a 4.60 ERA and 49/20 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings prior to the injury.

The Blue Jays are also missing Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek at the moment, so they have their work cut out for them in order to stay afloat in the playoff race. Jesse Chavez, who gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Brewers, is being asked to make another start Sunday against the Marlins while Aaron Laffey will join the rotation to start Tuesday against the Red Sox.

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.