Ryan Braun exits season opener with strained ribcage

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Ryan Braun didn’t have an issue with his right thumb during spring training, but now he has a new injury to deal with.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Braun exited Monday’s season opener against the Rockies with a ribcage strain. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout before leaving the game. He’s scheduled to be reevaluated tomorrow, but this is something that could put him down for a little while. Gerardo Parra should get most of the playing time in right field for now.

Braun, 31, struggled though a thumb injury last season while hitting .266/.324/.453 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI over 135 games.

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.