Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun has been named as the replacement for injured Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday on the National League All-Star roster, per ESPN’s Buster Olney. Holliday, dealing with a strained right quadriceps, was hoping to be healthy enough to participate in the midsummer classic, but he’ll shoot for a return not long after the second half begins.
Braun, 31, has turned in a productive season for the last-place Brewers, entering play Sunday batting .272/.338/.485 with 15 home runs, 55 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. He was a five-time All-Star consecutively between 2008-12 but hadn’t been part of the festivities since.
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.