Pirates fire manager John Russell after 299 losses in 3 years

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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.

Dodgers activate Adrian Gonzalez

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The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.

Rays activate Kevin Kiermaier

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The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.

Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.