Andrew Cashner could rejoin the Padres’ rotation this weekend

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Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner hasn’t pitched since May 13 due to soreness and irritation in his throwing elbow, but he could come off the disabled list as soon as this weekend against the Nationals.

Will Laws of MLB.com reports that Cashner threw 65 pitches in a simulated game today at PETCO Park in San Diego. He reported no soreness in his elbow and said he’s ready to throw “six to eight innings,” but Padres manager Bud Black said they’ll wait to see how he feels tomorrow before making an official decision on his status.

Cashner was great after joining the Padres’ rotation last year and he picked up from where he left off prior to the injury, posting a 2.35 ERA and 47/17 K/BB ratio in 57 1/3 innings over nine starts.

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.