Diamondbacks chief baseball officer Tony La Russa announced on Friday that prospect Archie Bradley has earned the final spot in the club’s starting rotation. There was an opening in the rotation following Thursday’s trade of Trevor Cahill to the Braves.
Bradley, 22, was the Diamondbacks’ first round pick in the 2011 draft, going seventh overall. He enters the season rated as the 11th-best prospect in baseball by Baseball Prospectus, 15th by MLB.com, and 25th by Baseball America.
Bradley performed well in spring training, compiling a 1.61 ERA with a 14/6 K/BB ratio in 22 1/3 innings. He started the 2014 season in Triple-A for the first time but an elbow injury forced him onto the disabled list for nearly two months, after which he pitched for Double-A Mobile.
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.