The Indians announced on Monday that starter Danny Salazar underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder. He won’t throw for 12 to 16 weeks and has been ruled out for the rest of the 2018 season. What is, however, good news for Salazar and the Indians is that the surgery was exploratory and not more invasive.
Salazar, 28, first experienced inflammation in his right rotator cuff in mid-January and had been trying to work his way back from it ever since. He pitched in extended spring training, then had his shoulder reexamined in early May. At the end of May, he received a cortisone injection in his shoulder, but it obviously didn’t help enough.
Salazar has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining after earning $5 million this season. The Indians hope he will be ready for spring training next year.
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.