2:43 PM: The news on A.J. Burnett seemed dire as of yesterday: the possibility of a torn UCL and, given his lack of a desire to have surgery, the likely end of his career.
Today things are slightly better. But only slightly.
It’s still not a given of course. Lots of guys miss whole seasons with flexor tendon issues and surgery is often an option to address it. Morosi suggests that Burnett could pitch through the pain of it, but of course there’s no guarantee that he can even be effective.
Better than a torn UCL I suppose, though still not fantastic news.
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.