According to Joe Stiglich of CSNBayArea.com, Athletics manager Bob Melvin confirmed this evening that Drew Pomeranz will called up from Triple-A Sacramento to start Wednesday against the Astros. The change lines up Sonny Gray, Jon Lester, Scott Kazmir and Jeff Samardzija to start in a big four-game series against the Angels later this week.
Pomeranz began this season in the A’s bullpen, but moved into the rotation in May and posted an impressive 1.88 ERA over his first seven starts. However, he was rocked for eight runs (seven earned) over 3 2/3 innings on June 16 before punching a chair in frustration and breaking his right hand. He has pitched exclusively in Triple-A since returning to full health, putting up a 3.69 ERA and 54/17 K/BB ratio in 46 1/3 innings over eight starts.
This is just a one-start deal for now, but if Jason Hammel struggles tomorrow and Pomeranz pitches well on Wednesday, one wonders if Melvin could consider a change for September.
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.