Fiers to make spring debut Sunday in A’s split-squad game

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              FILE - In this May 25, 2019, file photo, Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike Fiers works against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a baseball game in Oakland, Calif. Fiers and the Athletics might have reason to be downright mad. They won 97 games each of the past two seasons to finish as the second-place team in the AL West behind the Houston Astros, whom Fiers called out in November in a story by The Athletic for a sign-stealing scheme that led to season-long MLB suspensions for Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager AJ Hinch. Fiers insisted at Fan Fest that he is moving forward, declining to address anything regarding what he did by speaking out or even his role cleaning up the sport. He said he owes that to his teammates. (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
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MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Mike Fiers is scheduled to start a split-squad game for Oakland on Sunday in his first game action since revealing the Houston Astros’ cheating scheme.

It had not been determined Wednesday whether Fiers’ spring training debut would come in the home game versus San Francisco or against Arizona in Scottsdale.

Fiers went 15-4 last season, including the second no-hitter of his career, as the A’s earned an AL wild-card spot.

In a story published by The Athletic in November, Fiers said the Astros had stolen signs using a camera in center field during their run to the 2017 World Series championship. Fiers played on that team.

The ensuing scandal resulted in three managers losing their jobs, a fine and other penalties, and has become the talk of Major League Baseball. Many players have harshly spoken about the Astros, saying they should be stripped of their title.

There has been debate among fans and others whether Fiers did the right thing in his role as a whistleblower. Commissioner Rob Manfred said there was no doubt Fiers helped the sport.

“We will take every possible step to protect Mike Fiers wherever he’s playing, whether it’s in Houston or somewhere else,” Manfred said. “Mike did the industry a service.”

Fiers has declined to speak in detail about the scheme itself or his decision to go public.

“I’m not asking for extra security. I’m here to play baseball and I can defend myself, if anything,” he was quoted at saying by The Athletic on Wednesday. “It’s part of the game. If they decide to throw at me, then they throw at me. There’s nothing much you can do about it.”

NOTES: LHP A.J. Puk is set to start Oakland’s exhibition opener Saturday against the Chicago Cubs.