FILE PHOTO: A security guard walks past in front of the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo
FILE PHOTO: A security guard walks past in front of the Bank of Japan headquarters in Tokyo, Japan January 23, 2019. REUTERS/Issei Kato

March 19, 2019

By Leika Kihara

FUKUOKA, Japan (Reuters) – Japan’s ultra-loose monetary policy is making it tough for commercial banks to earn profits out of lending, a problem that cannot be fixed through bank mergers, the influential chairman of a major regional bank in southern Japan said.

Isao Kubota, chairman of Nishi-Nippon City Bank and once a finance ministry colleague of Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, praised the BOJ chief’s massive stimulus program for correcting a damaging yen spike and revitalizing the economy.

But Kubota said the length of the stimulus program is causing some problems, including hurting financial institutions’ profits for years due to low interest rates.

Extraordinary monetary steps, such as Kuroda’s massive asset-buying program and negative interest rates, could be useful and effective as “short-term, emergency” measures, Kubota told Reuters on Monday.

“But the longer the policy continues, the worse the side effects become,” he said. “We are in the sixth year of this policy and, I think intuitively, the accumulation of the side-effects might be enormous.”

Many Japanese regional banks are grappling with diminishing returns from traditional lending as years of ultra-low rates hurt their bottom line and a dwindling population triggers an exodus of companies to bigger cities.

While Japan’s banking lobbies have complained about the pain from the BOJ’s policies, financial regulators have urged regional banks to cut costs and find new ways to make money.

Some BOJ officials have said mergers could be among options for regional banks to beat a deteriorating business environment.


But Kubota argued that simply prodding regional banks to merge won’t solve a bigger problem created by the BOJ’s yield curve control (YCC) policy, which caps long-term rates at zero.

“Regardless of whether (the BOJ) intends to do so or not, they are squeezing the profits of commercial banks,” Kubota said of YCC’s impact on bank profits.

“The other side of the coin is that, this kind of phenomenon is never resolved through, for example, mergers of banks. By nature, because of this policy, banks as a whole are made unprofitable.”

Under YCC, the BOJ now pledges to guide short-term rates at minus 0.1 percent and the 10-year bond yield around zero percent. The policy has made it tough for banks to profit from traditional business of borrowing short-term funds and lending them at higher yields.

“We want an early stoppage to this kind of policy. That we can say. But we can’t say what the authorities should do,” Kubota said, when asked whether commercial banks would be better off if the BOJ abandoned negative rates. “They have powers, authorities. They also have responsibilities for the outcome of their policy.”

Despite the mounting challenges to achieving 2 percent inflation, Kuroda won’t abandon his target, said Kubota, who thinks he sees the governor’s way of thinking “very well” as former colleagues.

Both studied under prominent economists at Oxford University as graduate students dispatched from Japan’s Ministry of Finance.

“He’s confident and he’s a good politician,” Kubota said of the BOJ governor. “Even if he thinks something is dubious, he would never say so, so long as there is a need for the policy.”

(Additional reporting by Takahiko Wada; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

Source: OANN

Lauryn Overhultz | Columnist

Warner Brothers CEO Kevin Tsujihara has stepped down after he was accused of promising acting roles in exchange for sex.

Tsujihara was accused of being involved in a scandal exchanging sex for acting roles at the beginning of March. Tsujihara is one of the highest-ranking executives to ever be accused of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, according to Page Six.

Warner media chief executive John Stankey announced the decision Monday, saying it was in Tsujihara’s best interest.

“Kevin acknowledges that his mistakes are inconsistent with the company’s leadership expectations and could impact the company’s ability to execute going forward,” Stankey said. (RELATED: ‘Bachelorette’ Producer Sues Warner Bros. For Sexual Harassment)

WarnerMedia launched an investigation into Tsujihara after The Hollywood Reporter uncovered text messages between him and “How To Be Single” actress Charlotte Kirk. Apparently, the texts suggest a sexual relationship between the two in exchange for an introduction to influential executives.

Tsujihara already apologized to Warner Bros. staff in a memo. He wrote, “I deeply regret that I have made mistakes in my personal life that have caused pain and embarrassment to the people I love the most.”

He continued, “I also deeply regret that these personal actions have caused embarrassment to the company and to all of you.”

Kirk has denied any sexual relationship ever existed between her and Tsujihara.

Source: The Daily Caller

Turkish police detain demonstrators as they protest the death of a Kurdish inmate, in Diyarbakir
Turkish police detain demonstrators as they protest the death of a Kurdish inmate, in Diyarbakir, Turkey, March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

March 18, 2019

By Umit Ozdal

DIYARBAKIR, Turkey (Reuters) – Turkish police fired water canons and detained some members of a group of about 100 that attempted on Monday to visit the grave of a member of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who died in prison, a Reuters witness said.

The PKK member, Zulkuf Gezen, had been sentenced in 2010 to life in jail for links to a bombing in 2007 that killed one and injured six, according to media reports. He was jailed in the northwestern province of Tekirdag where initial findings showed he committed suicide, the local prosecutor’s office said.

The group of people heading to visit Gezen’s grave in the southeastern province of Diyarbakir were blocked by police who fired a water canon on them, according to Reuters footage from the scene. The crowd chanted, “We will win by resisting,” before some were detained by police and taken away.

Police said the group included Sezai Temelli, co-leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), and other lawmakers from his party. The lawmakers were allowed entrance to the cemetery but not the whole group, police said.

Ten people were detained after security forces called for the group to disperse and some responded by throwing rocks, police added.

The HDP has said hundreds of prisoners in Turkish jails have been on hunger strike to protest the prison isolation of Abdullah Ocalan, the head of the PKK. Gezen was also on hunger strike and committed suicide to protest the isolation, the party said.

“We invite those in power to act responsibly and realize the request to lift the isolation and the public to be sensitive before a similar pain is experienced,” the HDP said on Twitter.

The PKK, considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, has waged an insurgency in Turkey since the 1980s. Some 40,000 have been killed in the conflict.

Ankara accuses the HDP of ties to the PKK. The HDP denies direct links.

HDP lawmaker Leyla Guven was the first to go on hunger strike. She was released from prison in January after spending a year in custody on charges of terrorism leadership and propaganda for her opposition to Turkey’s incursion into northwest Syria’s Afrin region. She still faces trial and up to 31 years in jail.

(Reporting by Umit Ozdal; Writing by Ali Kucukgocmen; Editing by Jonathan Spicer)

Source: OANN

Traffic is stopped as the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy moves along a national highway in Qazigund
Traffic is stopped as the Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) convoy moves along a national highway in Qazigund March 18, 2019. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

March 18, 2019

By Fayaz Bukhari

SRINAGAR (Reuters) – Military roadblocks on Kashmir’s main highway are delaying ambulances carrying patients and leading to confrontations with motorists that occasionally turn physical, residents and medical staff say, as India’s crackdown on separatists in the region causes major disruption to daily life.

Tensions in Kashmir, a mountainous region claimed by both India and Pakistan, have been elevated since a suicide car bomb attack killed 40 Indian paramilitary police in the region on Feb. 14.

The nuclear-armed neighbors, who have fought two wars over the territory, which is divided between them, both launched airstrikes last months, forcing world powers to urge calm.

Tensions between the two countries have temporarily eased. But India has kept up pressure on militant groups on its side of the contested border, boosting its military presence there and arresting hundreds of alleged separatists. Hundreds of thousands of Indian troops patrol the valley, and motorists say security around military convoys has increased delays.

Roadblocks on a 100-kilometre (60-mile) stretch of NH-44, Kashmir’s picturesque main highway linking the summer capital of Srinagar with the rest of India, are sometimes trebling the time it has taken for sick patients to reach hospitals in the capital, several users of the road told Reuters.

India’s military denies this, saying troops are instructed to stop traffic for only a few minutes at a time, and that ambulances and school buses are getting priority.

“School buses, ambulances will be give priority during the convoy movements,” said Indian defense department spokesman Colonel Rajesh Kalia on Monday. “We have given directions to the troops on the ground that they are not stopped.”

But the Kashmir Private Schools Association sees no difference in the security forces approach, and its Chairman G N Var said it may have to close down the schools because the disruption is so great.

“The school buses were stopped even today,” Var said. “It is harassment. We can’t run schools like this.”


Irfan Ahmad, 45, a resident of Awantipora in South Kashmir, said it took him three hours to take his mother, Sajja Begum, for treatment at a hospital in Srinagar on March 11, a journey that usually takes an hour.

“She was crying with chest pain but who listened, there were long queues everywhere we were stopped”, he said.

Mohammad Yusuf, an ambulance driver who frequently ferries critical patients from nearby Qazigund to hospitals in Srinagar, said commuting on the highway has become increasingly difficult.

“We are stopped (in) five to six places on the way,” he said. “It takes four hours to take patients from Qazigund to Srinagar and normally it hardly takes 70-80 minutes.”

Waqar Ahmad, a doctor at North Kashmir’s main Baramulla hospital, said he faced similar delays making him late for work shifts.

“Every few kilometers we are stopped by troops on the highway,” he said. “They are very aggressive and they don’t listen to us. We feel insecure. Earlier, they would nicely talk to you and now they are abusive. We are stopped in at least five to six places in a 60-kilometre journey. It is a routine now and we feel dejected.”

The hospital’s medical superintendent, Syed Masood, said most of its doctors were now late for work.

“It affects the functioning of the hospital which caters to lakhs (hundreds of thousands) of people,” he said.


A rail line intended to link mountainous North Kashmir to the winter capital of Jammu is more than a decade behind schedule.

That means the highway – India’s longest that begins in Srinagar and terminates at the country’s southern tip – is a vital lifeline to Indian-administered Kashmir, a Muslim-majority region where many residents say they feel cut off from the rest of Hindu-majority India.

Some residents also allege that troops have damaged cars during roadblocks.

Khursheed Ahmad, a 23-year-old from South Kashmir, said he was hit by troops carrying batons and had one of his car windows broken at a traffic stop on March 8.

“I was on the way to Srinagar and was stopped by troops, it took me a little while to apply the breaks and two men swooped on me,” he said. “They beat me with batons and smashed one of the window panes.”

Lt General KJS Dhillon, one of India’s top military commanders in the region, denied troops had harassed or assaulted motorists.

“The point about harassment and all, it is not true, it is propaganda,” he said. “I appeal to my civilian friends to please cooperate with the security forces for one and a half minutes.”

(Reporting by Fayaz Bukhari, writing by Alasdair Pal; Editing by Martin Howell and Alex Richardson)

Source: OANN

Caterpillar equipment at a retail site in San Diego California
FILE PHOTO: Caterpillar Inc. equipment is on display for sale at a retail site in San Diego, California, U.S., March 3, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake

March 18, 2019

By Timothy Aeppel

(Reuters) – U.S. makers of bulldozers and other heavy equipment are raising prices, losing sales and in some cases beginning to trim workers in response to the Trump administration’s protracted trade disputes with various countries, according to a new report.

Advocates of tariffs point to continued job growth and low overall inflation as proof that tariffs are not harming these manufacturers, which include global producers such as Caterpillar Inc, Alamo Group Inc and Terex Corp.

But an economic analysis conducted on behalf the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and set to be released on Monday by IHS Markit, notes that increased costs and the disruption of supply chains will slowly filter through the overall economy, gradually raising prices for finished goods and curbing employment over the next decade.

Scott Hazelton, a co-author of the report, said tariffs will increase the cost of producing off-road equipment in the U.S. between 6 percent to 7 percent over the period.

Caterpillar, a key component of the Dow, has said tariffs cost the company $100 million last year.

The study notes heavy equipment makers are particularly exposed to higher steel prices. Accounting for all steel used – both directly by these manufacturers and the parts they buy from others – the material represents 18.5 percent of the cost of a farm machine and 25.8 percent for mining machines.

“If you’re a domestic producer, you’re caught between eating a cost increase or raising prices and potentially losing business,” Hazelton said.

Gradall Industries Inc is among those getting hit at both ends of their business. The company, a subsidiary of Alamo Group Inc, has seen the price of massive metal castings it imports from China go up by 25 percent due to tariffs, for instance, on top of higher domestic steel prices.

Mike Haberman, president of Gradall, said they raised prices twice last year in response to higher-cost imports and steel.

Meanwhile, “our exports to China are down 30 to 40 percent,” said Haberman, due to retaliatory tariffs China slapped on imports of Gradall’s machines and the economic slowdown in that country.

The Section 232 tariffs imposed by Washington hit most foreign suppliers of metals, which have prompted retaliatory duties from many of those countries.

Haberman said he has not shed workers yet, but stopped hiring last year.

Other companies, however, are beginning to eye job cuts.

John Garrison, chief executive of Terex, said he plans to start reducing headcount in one of his business lines this year, but declined to specify which sector or the number of jobs that might be cut.

The company has three segments – aerial work platforms, cranes and material processing machines.

“I can’t say that it’s all due to tariffs, but the economic uncertainty caused by the trade situation isn’t helping,” Garrison said.

(Reporting by Timothy Aeppel; editing by Joe White and G Crosse)

Source: OANN

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa
Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 7, 2019. REUTERS/Patrick Doyle

March 17, 2019

By Julie Gordon

OTTAWA (Reuters) – With a federal election looming and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government facing its worst political crisis in four years, Canada’s ruling Liberals are expected to table a goody-filled budget later this week in bid to get back on course with voters.

Trudeau’s Liberals surged to power in 2015 on a pledge to jolt the economy by boosting spending, but their popularity has dropped sharply in recent weeks amid claims that Canada’s former Justice Minister was pressured to help construction firm SNC-Lavalin avoid a criminal trial.

Adding to the pain, economic growth slowed sharply at the end of 2018 and, despite blockbuster job gains, Canadians are feeling increasingly pessimistic about the future as record household debt runs up against higher interest rates.

To counter the negative sentiment, Finance Minister Bill Morneau is expected to make use of unexpectedly strong revenues from the first nine months of the fiscal year to table a stimulus-filled federal budget on Tuesday, the last budget ahead of an October election.

High on the list of expectations is supports for millennial home buyers, money for skills re-training, pharmacare help for those lacking prescription drug plans through their workplace, and new spending for families with children.

If Morneau wants to look fiscally prudent, the key will be to divvy up only the unexpected revenue, and not disrupt plans to reduce the net-debt-to-GDP ratio – a measure of how burdensome debt is relative to the economy, said Derek Holt, head of Capital Markets Economics at Scotiabank.

“If they want their cake and eat it too, you spend only the unanticipated revenue surprise, and you keep your powder dry on the rest,” he said.


New mortgage rules that came into effect last year, and five interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada since July 2017, have left would-be buyers on the sidelines.

While the central bank says the changes have improved the quality of new mortgage debt in Canada, they have also contributed to a slowdown, with home sales slumping nationwide to a six-year low in February.

“Our recommendations include restoring 30-year mortgages for first-time home buyers and making some adjustments to the current stress test now that the market has changed,” said Kevin Lee, chief executive of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association.

Others options include bigger tax breaks for first-time buyers and more space to borrow from retirement savings.

But economists warn that too many perks could inadvertently reheat housing markets, putting ownership further out of reach for millennials and other first time buyers, especially in expensive cities like Vancouver and Toronto.


The budget is also expected to propose a limited expansion to Canada’s healthcare system to cover part of the cost of prescription drugs, Reuters reported in January, citing sources.

Budget documents may go into some detail, or just make a general commitment to boost coverage, leaving specifics for the election campaign.

And while one of the bright spots in Canada’s sluggish economy has been booming employment numbers, companies say they are struggling to fill jobs requiring specialized skills, notably in the technology and healthcare fields.

“We would welcome a focus on skills, since it could address a current business challenge,” said Craig Wright, chief economist at the Royal Bank of Canada, in a research note.

Speaking at a shoe repair shop on Thursday, Morneau hinted such measures would be coming.

“In our budget this year, that’s what we’re going to be thinking about. How do we help Canadians to take time off … and how do they pay for their training?” he said.

The Liberals have faced criticism for backing away from a pledge to balance the budget by 2019, but with a vote looming the focus will likely be on setting up the campaign platform with items to come. A deficit of C$18.1 billion ($13.6 billion) is forecast for 2018/19.

“When it comes to how the deficit gets allocated, as we saw in the last election, (voters) still like to see a check in their own mailbox,” said Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, in a research note.

(Additional reporting by Allison Martell and Fergal Smith in Toronto; Editing by Denny Thomas and Nick Zieminski)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Wisconsin Badgers appear to be in some serious trouble heading into the tournament.

Yesterday, I guaranteed a win against Michigan State in the Big Ten tournament in the semi-finals. I woke up, and I just felt something in my bones. The air just felt different.

It seem like we were destined for a big win. Well, it turns out my read of the air and the feeling in my bones couldn’t have been more incorrect because the Spartans tore us up to the tune of 67-55. (RELATED: Watch Wisconsin Beat Kentucky In The 2015 Final Four)

There wasn’t enough alcohol in the world to ease the pain of watching my Badgers play some terrible basketball, and that’s saying something because yesterday was full of Saint Patrick’s Day parties. As I sucked down a few cold Miller Lites, I began to wonder if we’re in big trouble. We couldn’t score, our defense was porous at times and our shooting was awful. I’m not sure how much worse it honestly could have gotten.

The brackets will get announced later today, and the seed we get won’t matter if we play like we did yesterday. ESPN has us currently slated as a four. That’d be nice, but I’m not confident we’ll get out of the first round if Saturday’s game is a preview of things to come.

Part of being an honest man is calling things how you see them. I might love my Badgers, and I’ll rock with them to the end of time. My loyalty isn’t to be questioned, but yesterday was atrocious. It has me nervous at the very least.

The only thing left to do now is buckle down, and prepare for battle. The whole state is in this together. Tune into the selection show on CBS at 6:00 p.m. EST to see the brackets.

Let’s all hope like hell what we witnessed yesterday was a one-off event, and not the mold for my team going forward. Otherwise, I have no doubt the fans will be ruthless to me!

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Captain's Run
FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union – New Zealand Captain’s Run – The Lensbury, Teddington, Britain – November 9, 2018 New Zealand’s Kieran Read during the captain’s run Action Images via Reuters/Matthew Childs

March 17, 2019

By Greg Stutchbury

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – All Blacks captain Kieran Read has urged his fellow New Zealanders to reject bigotry and support the country’s Muslim community after a mass shooting at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

The death toll from the shooting, carried out by a suspected white supremacist and described by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern as the country’s “darkest day”, rose to 50 on Sunday.

New Zealand Football (NZF) said on Sunday that one of those killed was Kuwait-born Atta Elayyan, the goalkeeper for the New Zealand futsal team, a version of indoor soccer that is played internationally.

“My heart goes out to the futsal community,” said NZF chief executive Andrew Pragnell.

“They are a very tight-knit group and this news of Atta’s death will be devastating for all involved in the game. We feel their pain and their grief.”

New Zealand’s top professional soccer team, the Wellington Phoenix, said they would remember Elyaan and the other victims at their A-League match against the Western Sydney Wanderers, which will go ahead on Sunday after consultation with police.

The third cricket test between New Zealand and Bangladesh that was due to start in Christchurch on Saturday was canceled after the tourists narrowly avoided being caught up in the shooting.

Rugby is New Zealand’s most popular sport, however, and the captain of the All Blacks, the most successful international team in the game, is typically almost universally respected.

Read’s statement of support for New Zealand’s small Muslim community would therefore have more resonance than might be the case in other countries.

“That this hate filled atrocity has happened in our back yard is beyond words,” Read, who was caught up in the city center lockdown at his daughters’ school on Friday as police searched for the gunman, wrote on his Instagram account.

“My heart goes out to the victims and their families, our Muslim community and the people of Christchurch.

“Our nation is experiencing a great loss of innocence in the face of all that happened. Bigotry and intolerance has no place here in Aotearoa (New Zealand). This is not who we are.

“Our strength lies in our diversity and while acts such as this are orchestrated in an attempt to divide us, love and unity will always prevail.”


Read also plays for the Christchurch-based Canterbury Crusaders, whose Super Rugby match against the Otago Highlanders in Dunedin on Saturday was canceled after discussions between the teams and police.

The Crusaders adopted their name 23 years ago when rugby went professional but questions have been raised over its associations with the medieval religious wars between Christians and Muslims since the mosque attacks.

The franchise, which has won a record nine Super Rugby titles, issued a statement late on Saturday defending the name.

“We acknowledge and understand the concerns that have been raised,” it read.

“For us, the Crusaders name is a reflection of the crusading spirit of this community, and certainly not a religious statement.

“What we stand for is the opposite of what happened in Christchurch … our crusade is one for peace, unity, inclusiveness and community spirit.

“This team and the wider organization are united with our community in standing against such abhorrent acts … and in standing in support of our Muslim community.”

Read’s All Blacks team mate TJ Perenara also urged his compatriots to think about New Zealand’s Muslim community after witnessing the wider impact of the attacks on Saturday.

“I walked through the airport and saw Muslim people going about their day in fear, including one woman that I and a couple of others sat with while she cried,” the scrumhalf wrote on Instagram.

“I thought about how they were in fear as their community has been attacked … Once we have had time to grieve, it might be time for some uncomfortable conversations.”

(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: OANN

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks at Los Angeles Lakers
Mar 1, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram (14) dribbles the ball as Milwaukee Bucks guard Eric Bledsoe (6) defends during the first quarter at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

March 17, 2019

Los Angeles Lakers forward Brandon Ingram had surgery on his right arm Saturday and is expected to be ready by the start of the 2019-20 season, the team announced.

Ingram underwent thoracic outlet decompression surgery, performed by Dr. Hugh Gelabert at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.

Earlier this month, Ingram, 21, was diagnosed with deep venous thrombosis, which involved a blood clot that caused shoulder pain. After the diagnosis, the Lakers announced he would be out the rest of the season.

Ingram, in his third NBA season, averaged 18.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists in 33.8 minutes per game in 52 contests.

–Golden State star Kevin Durant was held out of the lineup at Oklahoma City, missing his second straight game with an injured right ankle.

Coach Steve Kerr told ESPN that Durant “most likely” would return for Monday’s game at San Antonio.

Durant, 30, played nine seasons for Seattle/Oklahoma City before signing with the Warriors as a free agent in 2016. He is averaging 27.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 5.7 assists per game this season.

–The top-seeded United States squad will open its defense of its FIBA World Cup championship this summer against the Czech Republic.

The draw for the 32-team tournament was held in Shenzhen, China. The United States will also face Turkey and Japan in Group E.

The FIBA World Cup will be held Aug. 31 to Sept. 15, with play in eight cities across China. The United States, coached this year by Gregg Popovich, is the two-time defending champion.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: MLB: New York Yankees-Workouts
FILE PHOTO: Feb 17, 2019; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Luis Severino (40) pitches during spring training at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

March 16, 2019

New York Yankees ace right-hander Luis Severino will miss at least the first full month of the season with rotator cuff inflammation, general manager Brian Cashman said Friday.

Severino, 25, has yet to throw in a spring training game and was scratched from his scheduled debut on March 5 because of discomfort in his pitching shoulder. An MRI diagnosed the problem.

The Yankees decided Severino (19-8, 3.39 ERA in 2018) wouldn’t throw for two weeks, but Cashman said the earliest the right-hander could return is May 1 because he needs to start from the beginning in his preseason program.

Cashman also updated the status of lefty CC Sabathia, who like Severino, will start the season on the injured list. The 38-year-old, who has announced his retirement effective at the end of the season, had offseason knee and heart surgeries, and Cashman said Sabathia likely will return to the active roster in April.

–Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Bryce Harper left Friday’s spring training game after being plunked on the right ankle by a 96-mph fastball from Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton.

But following the game, Phillies manager Gabe Kapler told reporters, “Right now we don’t have major concerns.” Kapler said the Phillies are labeling the injury a right foot contusion. Harper was sent for X-rays as a precaution, Kapler said.

Harper was batting with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning at Spectrum Field in Clearwater, Fla., when he appeared to get hit flush on the ankle. He dropped to the ground, rolling in pain before limping off the field.

–A day after a rough landing while making a diving catch, Washington Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor had an MRI exam that revealed both a sprained left knee and a sprained left hip.

Taylor will miss “a significant amount of time,” according to manager Dave Martinez. A specific timetable for his return was not revealed.

Taylor, 27, batted just .227 with six home runs in 134 games last season, a year after he batted .271 with 19 home runs in 118 games. He is a career .239 hitter over parts of five seasons with the Nationals, including 47 home runs with 165 RBIs in 483 career games.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

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