Cardinals place rookie David Freese on the disabled list

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David Freese has been playing through a sprained ankle for the past several weeks, but after giving him Monday off the Cardinals placed him on the disabled list today.
Handed the starting job at third base after putting up strong numbers in the minors, the 27-year-old rookie hit .296 with a .361 on-base percentage and .404 slugging percentage in 70 games while playing better defense than expected.
However, those solid overall numbers include Freese going just 13-for-59 (.220) with zero homers and a 16/3 K/BB ratio in his last 20 games, so with Felipe Lopez around to step in at third base the Cardinals are smart to give him some time to heal.

Athletics and Mariners to begin the 2019 regular season in Tokyo

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Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners will begin the 2019 regular season in Japan, in the Tokyo Dome.

The series will mark the third time that the A’s will begin their season in Japan, first doing it in 2008 against the Red Sox and then again in 2012 against the Mariners.

This is just the latest of Major League Baseball’s moves to expand the the game internationally. In addition to those previous series in Japan, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks opened their season in Australia in 2014 and the Dodgers and Padres will play a series in Mexico City this May. There has likewise been talk of the Mets playing a series in London, though those details have not yet been worked out. Obviously the World Baseball Classic represents the league’s effort to broaden the global scope of the once national pastime.

Get ready for early morning baseball, folks.