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Luis Severino not expected back until May ‘at the earliest’

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Brian Cashman gave some updates on Yankees injuries today. You will not be surprised to hear that, as is usually the case, the time the injured players will be out is a bit longer than initial, optimistic projections.

Cashman said he doesn’t expect starter Luis Severino back until May.  Severino was diagnosed with “rotator cuff inflammation” ten days ago and was to be shut down for two weeks. It’s not clear if the shutdown is going to be extended or if, rather, his ramp-up schedule from the shutdown is simply going to take longer than expected. Either way, the Yankees will be without their ace for at least the first month of the season.

UPDATE: It sounds more dire than that, actually:

Cashman added that CC Sabathia is not expected back until sometime in mid-to-late April. Sabathia spring schedule was slow to get moving due to caution following an offseason heart procedure and cleanup surgery on his arthritic right knee. He began throwing to live hitters just three days ago.

Finally, it appears as though center fielder Aaron Hicks will begin the season on the injured list. Hicks has been out since March 2 with pain in his back. On Monday received a cortisone shot but has yet been able to swing the bat fully.

Severino’s shoulder is the thing to watch the most closely here — it could be serious — while the other two injuries don’t seem particularly major. Still, injuries have a way of inflicting death by a thousand cuts, so none of this is great news for the Bombers.

MLBPA proposes 114-game season, playoff expansion to MLB

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Major League Baseball Players Association has submitted a proposal to the league concerning the 2020 season. The proposal includes a 114-game season with an end date on October 31, playoff expansion for two years, the right for players to opt out of the season, and a potential deferral of 2020 salaries if the postseason were to be canceled.

Passan clarifies that among the players who choose to opt out, only those that are considered “high risk” would still receive their salaries. The others would simply receive service time. The union also proposed that the players receive a non-refundable $100 million sum advance during what would essentially be Spring Training 2.

If the regular season were to begin in early July, as has often been mentioned as the target, that would give the league four months to cram in 114 games. There would have to be occasional double-headers, or the players would have to be okay with few off-days. Nothing has been mentioned about division realignment or a geographically-oriented schedule, but those could potentially ease some of the burden.

Last week, the owners made their proposal to the union, suggesting a “sliding scale” salary structure. The union did not like that suggestion. Players were very vocal about it, including on social media as Max Scherzer — one of eight players on the union’s executive subcommittee — made a public statement. The owners will soon respond to the union’s proposal. They almost certainly won’t be happy with many of the details, but the two sides can perhaps find a starting point and bridge the gap. As the calendar turns to June, time is running out for the two sides to hammer out an agreement on what a 2020 season will look like.