More shoulder soreness shuts down Rays lefty Drew Smyly

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On the same day they announced that right-hander Alex Cobb will undergo season-ending Tommy John elbow surgery the Rays also placed left-hander Drew Smyly back on the disabled list with shoulder soreness.

Smyly began the season on the DL with shoulder tendinitis, returning on April 24 to make three starts with a 2.70 ERA and 21/3 K/BB ratio in 17 innings to show the same type of top-of-the-rotation upside he displayed after the Rays acquired him from the Tigers in last year’s David Price trade.

Smyly was scheduled to start Sunday, but Kelly Parsons of the Tampa Bay Times reports that “he was having trouble getting loose between innings in his last start” on May 5.

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.