Tigers, doctors clear Justin Verlander to resume throwing

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After multiple false starts and MRI exams stemming from his spring training triceps injury Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander has been cleared to resume throwing.

According to a statement released by the team “he was given the clearance to resume a throwing program designed to return him to full competition.” And at least three doctors signed off, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com.

However, because he’s missed so much time Verlander will need a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list and there’s no timetable for him to begin pitching in the minors. In other words, it’ll be a while before he’s back in Detroit and there are still plenty of hurdles to clear, but this is the first truly positive news related to Verlander’s health since the initial “minor” injury.

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.