Red Sox pick up Japanese reliever Shunsuke Watanabe, release righty Chris Carpenter

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It’s a night of subtle tweaks for the Red Sox, who have announced a minor league agreement with Japanese reliever Shunsuke Watanabe and the release of Chris Carpenter — the lesser-known one — who will go pitch for NPB’s Yakult Swallows.

Watanabe is an extreme submariner coming off a poor season in Japan and seems doubtful to make Boston’s Opening Day roster. He turned 37 years old in August and had a brutal 4.8 career K/9 in NPB.

Carpenter, a former third-round pick, was part of Boston’s return from the Cubs for Theo Epstein. The 27-year-old right-hander has a 5.17 ERA in 15 2/3 career major league innings and posted a 4.96 ERA this past summer at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Alex Bregman shaved his mustache off in the middle of Sunday’s game

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Astros third baseman Alex Bregman apparently wasn’t happy with his mustache on Sunday afternoon as he shaved it off in between innings during his team’s contest against the Royals. Bregman walked and later scored in the Astros’ eight-run second inning, but when he took his next plate appearance in the fourth inning, he was clean-shaven.

Sometimes you just need to switch things up. 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️

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Bregman made a throwing error in the seventh and finished 0-for-4 with the walk on the afternoon. The Astros won 11-3.

Bregman isn’t the only player to make headlines for his facial hair recently. Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper recently shaved his signature beard. The Yankees approve of what both players have done.