Oft-injured Dustin McGowan to undergo shoulder surgery

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Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan is going back under the knife, this time for arthroscopic shoulder surgery.

McGowan previously underwent shoulder surgeries in 2008 and 2010, and basically hasn’t been healthy in four years, throwing a grand total of 21 innings since 2008. All of which is why it was so odd when the Blue Jays decided to sign McGowan to a three-year, $4.1 million contract extension in March.

He hasn’t pitched since then in the minors or majors, and the Blue Jays won’t know how long he’ll be sidelined this time around until Dr. James Andrews takes a look inside his shoulder.

Toronto rookie Drew Hutchison is undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery later this week and the Blue Jays already lost Kyle Drabek to his second Tommy John surgery earlier this 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.