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While much of the media horde tasked with covering the Yomiuri Giants has spent the spring either breathlessly reporting on every nuance of Shinnosuke Abe’s transition from catcher to first base or peppering manager Tatsunori Hara about what’s wrong with the club, Frederich Cepeda has been off to the side working up a sweat.

Cepeda’s brow is rarely dry when he’s on the field and even in the home dugout at Tokyo Dome on Friday, the beads were forming and rolling down his face as gripped the end of his bat, and smiled a big smile.

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