Evan Longoria to miss 6-8 weeks after hand surgery

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As expected, Giants third baseman Evan Longoria is slated to miss up to eight weeks after undergoing surgery on his broken finger next week. Longoria sustained the injury during Thursday’s game against the Marlins, during which he fractured the fifth metacarpal of his non-throwing hand on a hit by pitch. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday and replaced on the roster by right-hander Pierce Johnson, though the righty was swiftly sent back to Triple-A Sacramento after Brandon Belt returned to the team on Saturday.

This is the first significant injury Longoria has sustained during his limited time with the Giants, and his first serious setback since he lost three months to the 60-day disabled list with a hamstring strain back in 2012. While his .246 average, 10 home runs and 0.5 fWAR doesn’t exactly suggest a career year, his was one of the few productive bats left in an ailing lineup.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle also points out that surgery wasn’t the only option for the Giants’ starting third baseman — just the more prudent choice. Longoria could have opted to spend three weeks in a cast, but was warned that the prolonged period of inactivity would have caused his muscles to begin to atrophy. According to comments made by Longoria himself, he’s hopeful that the recovery process won’t be quite as drawn-out as expected, and may even allow him to reclaim the hot corner from Alen Hanson and Pablo Sandoval shortly after the All-Star Break.

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.