George Springer suffers setback, out two more weeks

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Astros outfielder George Springer was supposed to return soon from a quadriceps injury, but the rookie slugger suffered a setback during his minor-league rehab assignment and now Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports that he’ll miss two more weeks.

Springer has been out since July 19, bringing to a halt an impressive rookie campaign in which the 24-year-old got off to a slow start and then smacked 20 homers in the span of 59 games.

In his absence the Astros have used Robbie Grossman as their primary right fielder and he’s gotten on base at a .390 clip despite not hitting much overall.

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.