Right-hander Ricky Nolasco exited Sunday’s game in the second inning with an ankle injury and the Twins have placed him on the disabled list, calling up left-hander Tommy Milone from Triple-A to replace him in the rotation.
This is the second DL stint of the season for Nolasco, who has been terrible, hurt, or terrible and hurt since signing a four-year, $49 million deal with Minnesota as a free agent last offseason. He has a 5.40 ERA in 34 total starts with the Twins, although he was pitching much better recently.
Milone was demoted to Triple-A last month because the Twins had a rotation logjam and he responded by dominating International League hitters with a 0.70 ERA and 47/3 K/BB ratio in 39 innings. Those numbers are absurd, but Milone has sliced up Triple-A hitters before and the combination of his mid-80s fastball and lengthy track record of mediocrity in the majors creates plenty of skepticism that he’s more than a decent fourth or fifth starter.
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.