Giants may make decision on possible DL stint for Carlos Beltran tomorrow

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Carlos Beltran is out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game tonight with a strained right hand/wrist and it sounds like the Giants are close to making a decision about placing him on the disabled list.

Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle writes that Beltran has only made “marginal improvement” since receiving a cortisone shot Wednesday. While he was able to pick up a bat today for the first time since the injury, he is still feeling some pain in the back of his hand when he swings.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said they plan to wait until tomorrow to see if he makes further progress, but it sounds like a roster move isn’t far away.

“It’s so vital to swinging the bat to have your hand healthy enough to take a normal swing,” Bochy said. “Once he feels strong enough to handle the bat and take a normal swing, we’ll do it. We can’t risk losing him for a long period of time. We’ve got to be smart about it. This is a sensitive area.”

Beltran is batting .244/.261/.356 with one double, two triples and an 11/1 K/BB ratio over 46 plate appearances since being acquired from the Mets last month.

Nate Schierholtz is out of the lineup for the second straight game tonight with a sore right hip, so Aaron Rowand, Andres Torres and Cody Ross are starting from left to right in the outfield tonight against the Marlins.

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.