Santiago Casilla will undergo knee surgery this week

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As first reported by Amy Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area, Giants reliever Santiago Casilla is scheduled to undergo surgery this week to remove a cyst from his right knee. The Giants won’t make a guess on a recovery timetable until the procedure is completed.

“Immobilized at least a few weeks,” is what head Giants trainer Dave Groeschner told beat writer Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News.

Casilla has been on the disabled list since May 21 because of the cyst, which has bothered him now for over three weeks. He had a superb 1.89 ERA through 21 appearances this season and boasts a 2.19 ERA since the start of the 2010 campaign. It’s a tough loss for San Francisco.

The 32-year-old right-hander signed a three-year, $14 million contract with the Giants in December 2012. The deal bought out Casilla’s final year of salary arbitration and his first two years of free agency.

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.