Cardinals place catcher Yadier Molina on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right knee

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As first reported by MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch, the Cardinals have placed catcher Yadier Molina on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right knee. Molina has been dealing with the knee injury since early July and he aggravated it on Tuesday night in St. Louis’ 6-0 loss at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

Shane Robinson has also been placed on the 15-day disabled list because of a right shoulder strain. The Cardinals have called up outfielders Adron Chambers and Brock Peterson from Triple-A Memphis to fill both vacant roster spots.

The Cardinals are on the hunt for catching help in case Molina’s knee injury proves serious. The five-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star was scheduled to undergo an MRI back in St. Louis on Wednesday morning. Tony Cruz and Rob Johnson will split time behind the plate for now.

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.