Twins utilityman Marwin González made his spring debut on Tuesday against the Tigers, going two-for-two with a double, a home run, and three RBI. He got a late start to the Grapefruit League season because he had offseason knee surgery, The Athletic’s Dan Hayes reports. Specifically, the procedure was a patellar debridement which kept the veteran off of his feet into late December.
González, 30, is in the second year of a two-year, $21 million contract signed with the Twins 13 months ago. He’s earning $9 million this year and can become a free agent after the season. González is coming off of a slightly disappointing season in which he appeared in 114 games, batting .264/.322/.414 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI over 463 plate appearances.
As the term “superutility” would imply, González played all over the field for the Twins last year and figures to function in a similar way in 2020.
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.