UPDATE: Hunter Pence out 6-8 weeks with fracture in left forearm

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UPDATE: Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com brings word that X-rays confirmed a non-displaced fracture in the forearm. Pence will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks, which means that he’ll likely miss the first month of the season.

Losing Pence obviously hurts, but the Giants should be able to get by with their in-house options. Angel Pagan and Nori Aoki will hold down two outfield spots while some combination of Gregor Blanco, Justin Maxwell, Travis Ishikawa, and Juan Perez can fill in.

6:22 p.m. ET: According to Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com, the Giants believe that Pence suffered a broken left forearm. Not good. We should have a better idea about a timetable after X-rays are completed.

6:09 p.m. ET: Some concerning news here for the defending World Series champion Giants…

According to Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com, outfielder Hunter Pence is headed for X-rays after he was hit in the hand by a pitch during today’s Cactus League game against the Cubs. Nothing is official yet, but Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that there “seems to be some pessimism” regarding the situation. Uh oh.

Pence has long been regarded as one of the game’s most durable players. He has appeared in all 162 games in back-to-back seasons and has played in at least 154 games dating back to 2008.

Pence, who turns 32 in April, batted .277/.332/.445 with 20 home runs, 74 RBI, and 13 stolen bases last season.

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.