As if the free-falling Brewers needed any more bad news …
Gerardo Parra is starting in Braun’s place on Tuesday night against the Marlins and might have to serve as the club’s primary right fielder going forward if Braun can no longer manage this lingering injury. Braun has been bothered by nerve problems in his right thumb since the first week of the regular season and he is currently sporting a career-worst .794 OPS. He’s batting just .230/.280/.397 since the All-Star break.
Milwaukee has dropped 12 of its last 13 games and would not have a place in the 2014 playoff mix if the season ended right now. This after leading the National League Central for 159 consecutive days.
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.