Chris Sale has a flexor strain; won’t throw for a week

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Last night we learned that Red Sox starter Chris Sale will not undergo Tommy John surgery, though exactly what was ailing his elbow was not reported. This morning the Red Sox said that he has a flexor strain and that doctors have advised he wait another week before he starts throwing again.

His exact prognosis won’t be known once he starts throwing. If he does it without discomfort, he resumes his buildup for the season. If he has discomfort again, back to the drawing board it seems. Either way, he will definitely begin the year on the injured list.

Sale, who turns 31 years old at the end of the month, is coming off of the worst season of his career. Whether this one will top that one is yet to be determined.

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.