Pirates fire manager John Russell after 299 losses in 3 years


As expected, the Pirates just announced that they’ve fired manager John Russell following a 105-loss season and 186-299 (.384) overall record in three years on the job.
However, general manager Neal Huntington will keep his job despite being hired just a couple months before Russell and of course being responsible for choosing the manager. Not surprising, since the manager almost always goes before the general manager in situations like this.
Pittsburgh has gone through six different managers during their current 18-year streak of losing seasons, with Russell joining Jim Leyland, Gene Lamont, Lloyd McClendon, Pete Mackanin, and Jim Tracy. Interestingly, both Leyland and Tracy took teams to the playoffs after leaving the Pirates.

Jeff Samardzija to undergo MRI on right shoulder

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Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.


Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.

This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.

Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.