Alex Cobb confirmed to have elbow ligament tear

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times shares the rough news

Rays RHP Alex Cobb’s season is very much in jeopardy.

The Tampa Bay Times has learned and confirmed that a new more detailed MRI revealed a partial tear in his elbow ligament. After a program of rest and treatment Cobb will try to pitch with the injury, and if that doesn’t work he faces Tommy John surgery and could miss not only the rest of this season but most and possibly all of 2016.

Cobb was placed on the disabled list before Opening Day with discomfort in his right forearm. Tests done in late March and early April ruled found no sort of structural damage, but something has obviously changed.

It’s an awful situation for the Rays, who are off to a surprising 14-12 start this season. Cobb, 27, boasts a 2.82 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, and 8.2 K/9 over his last 309 2/3 innings.

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.