Red Sox make two bullpen changes, including designating Dennys Reyes for assignment

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After six straight losses the Red Sox have made their first moves of the season, placing Matt Albers on the disabled list and designating Dennys Reyes for assignment while replacing them in the bullpen with Alfredo Aceves and Felix Doubront.

Reyes beat out Hideki Okajima for the left-handed specialist gig during spring training, but is now being cut loose after throwing all of 1.2 innings. He didn’t pitch well, allowing three runs while struggling to throw strikes, but if Reyes was good enough to make the Opening Day roster (and get $900,000) he’s seemingly good enough to stick with for longer than a week.

Instead of replacing him with Okajima the Red Sox are instead turning to Doubront, who began the season on the disabled list with an elbow injury. He’s been exclusively a starter in the minors, but the 23-year-old lefty will try to stick around in the bullpen for now.

Aceves probably would have made the Opening Day roster if not for the fact that he had a minor-league option remaining and could be sent to Triple-A.  The former Yankee has the potential be a setup-caliber reliever if healthy and also serves as rotation depth should the Red Sox need another starter. He had a 3.21 ERA and 87/30 K/BB ratio in 126 innings for the Yankees during the past three years.

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.