"Joe Kerrigan might be the biggest backstabber in baseball"

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You wouldn’t think that a couple of coaches being fired in Pittsburgh would make that big a fuss, but Joe Kerrigan and Gary Varsho’s firings have tongues wagging all over the Pittsburgh sports blogosphere.

The Baseball Codes blog does some historical digging, and via the mining of some past reporting on Kerrigan — specifically, in Joe Torre’s memoir and some reporting by Tracy Ringolsby — notes that he has a reputation for being a “clubhouse mole,” who reports things behind the manager’s back and back up to the front office on a regular basis.

InsidePittsburghSports.com went further in its Sunday night report:

“One veteran front-office executive said this of Kerrigan upon his
hiring by the Pirates, ‘John Russell better have his head on a swivel
because he has a manager killer on his staff now. Joe Kerrigan might be
the biggest backstabber in baseball.'”

So much drama in the PNC, it was gettin’ hard being manager Jim Tra-cy.

Well, it’s John Russell, but that doesn’t work with the rhyme. And really, does it matter at this point in the season?

(thanks to reader Bill S. for the heads up)

Tigers to give Omar Infante some work in center field this spring

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Omar Infante #4 of the Detroit Tigers follows through on an RBI single scoring Prince Fielder #28 during the eighth inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field  on September 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
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Veteran Omar Infante has spent the overwhelming majority of his career as an infielder, but the Tigers plan to give him some playing time in center field this spring. The Tigers’ center field situation is still murky and adding more versatility would increase Infante’s odds of making the roster.

Infante, 35, signed a minor league deal with the Tigers in December. He played 39 games for the Royals last season, batting .239/.279/.321 in 149 plate appearances while playing second base exclusively. Infante last played in the outfield in 2010 with the Braves, and last played center field specifically in ’09 with the Braves.

The Tigers currently have Mikie Mahtook, Tyler Collins, and JaCoby Jones at the top of their center field depth chart. It is not what one would call “optimal.”

Report: Orioles close to acquiring Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 30:  Vidal Nuno #38 of the Seattle Mariners pitches against the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the seventh inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
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Eduardo A. Encina of the Baltimore Sun reports that the Orioles are close to acquiring pitcher Vidal Nuno from the Dodgers in exchange for pitcher Ryan Moseley.

Nuno, 29, went to the Dodgers from the Mariners in the Carlos Ruiz trade this past November. He and the Dodgers avoided arbitration last month, agreeing on a $1.125 million salary for the 2017 season. The left-hander finished the 2016 campaign with a 3.53 ERA and a 51/11 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings spanning one start and 54 relief appearances.

Nuno will provide the Orioles starting pitching depth and could serve as a valuable left-handed option out of the bullpen.

Moseley, 22, played his first season of professional baseball in the New York Penn League last year. In 12 relief appearances, he put up a 3.20 ERA and an 18/9 K/BB ratio across 19 2/3 innings. The Orioles selected him in the eighth round of the 2016 draft.