Ryan Madson ready to throw on back-to-back days

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Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register has a small update on the status of Ryan Madson:

Madson said he is scheduled to throw on back-to-back days on Monday and Tuesday. He said he’s not sure how the progression will go this week, whether he’ll increase frequency or distance. So far he’s only thrown at 60 feet and the next step is 90, but he said there’s not much difference.

Madson underwent Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last April and began feeling renewed discomfort in that elbow when he tried to ramp up his throwing program in early February. So the 32-year-old right-hander is taking it slowly this spring in Angels camp and might not be able to make a single appearance in a Cactus League game.

The Angels seem likely to turn back to Ernesto Frieri for early-season save opportunities.

Madson inked a one-year, $3.5 million free agent contract with Anaheim in November.

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.