Yoenis Cespedes to make Athletics’ debut Saturday

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After arriving in Arizona last weekend and showcasing his power potential during simulated games this week, the highly-touted Yoenis Cespedes is finally ready to make his Athletics’ debut.

According to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle, Cespedes is scheduled to start in center field and bat second tomorrow afternoon against the Reds. And Craig will be there to see it. Pretty sweet deal. Let us know if he uses Christopher Cross’ “Sailing” as his at-bat music, okay?

Cespedes surprised many around the game by agreeing to a four-year, $36 million deal with Oakland in mid-February. Athletics general manager Billy Beane hedged his bets a few days ago when asked whether the 26-year-old will be on the Opening Day roster, but most expect he’ll be given every opportunity to win the starting center field job.

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.