Red Sox activate Stephen Drew from concussion DL

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As expected, the Red Sox have activated shortstop Stephen Drew from the seven-day concussion disabled list after he avoided setbacks during a four-game minor league rehab assignment.

Drew went just 2-for-13 on his rehab stint, but homered in his final game while playing eight innings defensively. And most importantly he hasn’t reported any dizziness or other post-concussions symptoms recently. It’s been more than a month since Drew was hit in the helmet by a pitch.

Jose Iglesias started six of seven games in Drew’s absence, going 9-for-20 with some impressive plays defensively, but the Red Sox are committed to Drew after signing him to a one-year, $9.5 million deal.

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.