Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown left Thursday night’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Yankees due to a sore left Achilles. He underwent an MRI, which showed tendinitis but no tear, per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. He could miss a week of spring training before returning.
Brown, 27, is looking to rebound from a terrible 2014 season in which he hit .235/.285/.349 with 10 home runs and 63 RBI in 512 plate appearances. Following the departure of Marlon Byrd, Brown is moving from left field to right field.
Brown and the Phillies avoided an arbitration hearing in the outfielder’s first year of eligibility, agreeing on a $2.6 million salary for the 2015 season. He’ll have two more years of arbitration eligibility in which his salary will almost certainly escalate. The rebuilding Phillies, though, may attempt to trade or simply non-tender Brown after the season if he doesn’t rebound this season.
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.