The rainout could mean Chris Tillman and James Shields come back for Game 4

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The rainout pushes Game 3 to Tuesday and Game 4 to Wednesday, which means we could see Game 1 starters James Shields and Chris Tillman in Game 4 on regular rest. No word from Ned Yost on that, but Buck Showalter has already said that Tillman is a possibility for the O’s on Wednesday.

Tillman would’ve originally gone again in Game 5, with Miguel Gonzalez going in Game 4, but now Showalter could flip-flop them, with the thinking being that if you have a must-win game you’d rather have your ace going. Of course, that ace gave up five runs in four and a third innings on Friday, so it’s not like he’s a sure thing. Shields, for his part, gave up four runs on ten hits in five innings. Maybe if the Royals are up 2-1 or 3-0 by Wednesday, however, it won’t be such a . . . big game.

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.