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J.P. Crawford to miss at least two weeks with strained hamstring

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Per Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times, Mariners GM Jerry DiPoto said on Wednesday that shortstop J.P. Crawford is expected to miss at least two weeks due to a Grade 1 strained hamstring. It’s not clear exactly when Crawford suffered the injury but he hasn’t played since August 30.

Crawford, 24, has hit .241/.322/.397 with 30 extra-base hits, 40 RBI, and 38 runs scored in 338 plate appearances this season.

The Mariners have tagged Dylan Moore to handle shortstop while Crawford is on the mend. Moore, a utilityman who has played every position but catcher this season, has a comparable .217/.321/.399 batting line on the year across 235 plate appearances.

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.