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J.P. Crawford to miss four to six weeks with fractured left hand

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Phillies infielder J.P. Crawford was hit on the left hand by a Luke Weaver fastball in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s 7-6 loss to the Cardinals. He’s headed to the disabled list, Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports. Crawford will miss four to six weeks, MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki adds.

Crawford, 23, was on the disabled list earlier this season between April 29 and June 5 with a strained right forearm. He played in only 13 games before having to go back on the DL. In 112 plate appearances this season, Crawford is hitting .194/.312/.333 with a pair of home runs, eight RBI, and 14 runs scored.

Since his return, Crawford had been functioning in more of a superutility role, drawing starts at both shortstop and third base. While Crawford is mending his injury, Scott Kingery should get regular starts at shortstop while Maikel Franco maintains the starting job at third base.

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.