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Rangers place Andrew Cashner on 10-day disabled list with oblique strain

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The Rangers placed right-hander Andrew Cashner on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle, the team announced Saturday. The move is retroactive to June 15. Cashner told reporters that he first experienced some discomfort during his start on Wednesday and was officially diagnosed with the strain after undergoing an MRI on Friday.

Cashner, 30, is 3-6 this season with a 3.50 ERA, 4.0 BB/9 and 4.3 SO/9 through 12 starts. He’s looking to bounce back from a down year with the Padres and Marlins, during which he put up a cumulative 5.25 ERA, 4.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 over 132 innings. This will be his third stint on the disabled list after missing several weeks with right biceps tendinitis.

The good news? He’s expected to miss just one start, a cakewalk compared to the more intensive recovery process facing fellow Rangers’ right-hander Cole Hamels as he rehabs a similar injury. The club designated infielder/outfielder Peter O’Brien for assignment and purchased the contract of right-hander Ernesto Frieri, who will assume Cashner’s spot on the roster until he returns.

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.