Stephen Strasburg exits start in the second inning with an apparent injury

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Update: Strasburg’s issue is with his left trap muscle, per MASN’s Dan Kolko. He’ll be evaluated on Saturday.

Some bad news that could lead to some worse news for the Nationals: starter Stephen Strasburg left in the second inning of Friday night’s start against the Reds. He walked leadoff batter Brayan Pena, then was attended to by the team trainer before walking off the mound. Taylor Jordan relieved him. Strasburg had allowed one run on a first-inning Joey Votto home run.

This isn’t the first injury scare the the Nationals have had with Strasburg this season. He left a start earlier this month due to discomfort under his shoulder blade but only had his next start moved back as opposed to landing on the disabled list. Strasburg has struggled, carrying a 6.55 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP, and a 45/14 K/BB ratio in 45 1/3 innings.

As soon as more information is known about Strasburg’s status, we’ll update you here.

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.