Kevin Gausman in Orioles’ bullpen for ALDS vs. Tigers

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From beat writer Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun comes word that young right-hander Kevin Gausman will work out of the bullpen for the Orioles in their upcoming ALDS matchup against the Tigers.

Gausman was the fourth overall pick in the 2012 MLB Amateur Draft and registered a promising 3.57 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, and 88/38 K/BB ratio across 113 1/3 innings during the regular season, but the O’s will roll with their more-experienced arms versus Detroit.

Chris Tillman is locked in for Game 1 on Thursday at Camden Yards and some combination of Miguel Gonzalez, Wei-Yin Chen, and Bud Norris will line up for the next three tilts.

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.