Jake Peavy plays catch for first time since rib fracture

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White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy took a nice first step Wednesday in his recovery from a fractured rib.

According to beat writer Mark D. Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune, Peavy was able to throw for about seven minutes from a distance of around 75 feet and reported no physical issues. “It was good,” he told Gonzales once the short workout was through.

Peavy was diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture in his rib cage on June 5 and placed on the disabled list one day later. He is expected to be ready for activation shortly after the mid-July All-Star break.

The 32-year-old had a 4.30 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 66/15 K/BB ratio in 67 innings before the injury.

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.