After seeing his team lose three out of four to the Indians over the weekend — including an extra-inning loss on Sunday — Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon has decided to shake things up for Monday’s game against the Yankees.
The big change, aside from Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz each moving up a spot in the order, is Logan Morrison at the top. This will be his first start out of the leadoff spot in his career. Morrison doesn’t offer the speed most usually associate with a leadoff man, but he’s been doing a nice job getting on base recently. While he has a .240/.321/.389 batting line on the year, he posted a .379 on-base percentage in May to go along with just as many walks (16) as strikeouts (16). It’s worth a shot, especially since Austin Jackson has a lowly .303 on-base percentage dating back to the start of 2014.
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.