There are conflicting reports about Ryan Doumit’s future as a catcher

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The Braves acquired Ryan Doumit in a trade with the Twins last month, expecting him to contribute mostly off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Doumit had suffered a concussion in August. While he made a few starts behind the dish upon his return in mid-August, he contributed only as a pinch-hitter, DH, and occasional outfielder in September.

Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press spoke to Brian Dozier, a former teammate of Doumit’s, who said that Doumit is “not catching anymore”. However, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is refuting that report:

Even if Doumit didn’t want to catch, it wouldn’t have been a huge blow to the Braves. It would simply mean that the Braves wouldn’t be able to pinch-hit with Evan Gattis or Gerald Laird without risking entering an emergency situation without a back-up catcher.

Last season, Doumit posted a .710 OPS in 538 trips to the plate with the Twins. He turns 33 years old on April 2. The Braves will be paying him $3.5 million in the last of a two-year deal originally signed with the Twins in June 2012.

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.