Scott Kazmir leaves the Tigers-Athletics game with an apparent injury

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It’s been a bad season for the A’s so far. It just got worse.

Scott Kazmir got the start for Oakland and made it through three shutout innings. It was dicey for a bit — he needed 47 pitches to make it that far — but the bullpen got ready in a hurry as the A’s batted in the bottom of the third and Dan Otero came out to replace Kazmir to start the fourth. Kazmir could be seen pointing to his shoulder and talking to manager Bob Melvin and team trainers.

Our friend Ken Arneson sums it up:

Coming into today Kazmir was 2-3 with a 3.09 ERA in nine starts.

Updates as we hear them.

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.