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Pirates put C Cervelli on DL with broken hand, get C Kratz

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PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Pirates have put catcher Francisco Cervelli on the 15-day disabled list with a broken left hand that is expected to sideline him four to six weeks.

The Pirates also acquired backup catcher Erik Kratz from the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday for cash.

Cervelli left Friday night’s game against St. Louis after breaking his hamate bone on a swing. He had surgery Saturday.

Cervelli is hitting .257 with 21 RBIs. Chris Stewart took over after Cervelli was hurt in the fourth inning.

Kratz is expected to join the Pirates for Saturday night’s home game against the Cardinals.

The 35-year-old Kratz made his big league debut with the Pirates in 2010. He also has played for Philadelphia, Toronto, Kansas City and Houston.

Kratz went to spring training with San Diego this season and was traded to Houston. He played 15 games for the Astros, was cut in mid-May and joined the Angels’ Triple-A team.

The Pirates also designated for assignment Triple-A right-hander Trey Haley.

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.