Padres lose setup man Brandon Maurer to shoulder injury

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Right-hander Brandon Maurer has been one of the biggest bright spots for the Padres this season, emerging as a quality setup man after they acquired him from the Mariners for outfielder Seth Smith.

However, after posting a 2.11 ERA in the first half Maurer has struggled in the second half and now he’s been placed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.

General manager A.J. Preller told Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune that the Padres expect the injury to be a minor one and “just want to give him a two-week breather and have him finish the year strong.”

Maurer, who struggled as a starter for the Mariners, has a 3.00 ERA and 39/15 K/BB ratio in 51 innings overall this season and seven of the 17 earned runs he’s allowed all year have come in the past two weeks.

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.