Andrew McCutchen scratched from Pirates’ starting lineup

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Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that the Pirates have scratched center fielder Andrew McCutchen from their starting lineup for Sunday’s series finale against the Astros because of soreness in his right knee.

Starling Marte will slide over to center, Travis Snider will play left field and Garrett Jones will get the start in right. Gaby Sanchez is at first base.

The Pirates have not addressed the severity of McCutchen’s knee soreness, but he was in the lineup initially so that would suggest that the decision to hold him out was more precautionary than anything.

McCutchen, 26, is batting .281/.348/.469 with six homers, nine steals and 23 RBI in 42 games.

Yankees to hire Josh Bard as their new bench coach

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Aaron Boone has no experience as a coach or a manager at any level. As such, some have speculated that he’d hire a more seasoned hand as his bench coach as he begins his first season as Yankees manager. Someone like, say, Eric Wedge, who was a candidate for the job Boone got and who once managed Boone in Cleveland.

Nope. According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, he’s going with Josh Bard.

Bard, 39, was a teammate of Boone’s with the Indians in 2005. He’s not without coaching experience, having spent the last two seasons as the Dodgers’ bullpen coach, but he’s not that Gene Lamont/Don Zimmer-type we often see in the bench coach role.

Which is fine because different managers want different things from their bench coach. Some are strategy guys, helping with in-game decision making. Others are relationship guys who help managers understand all of the dynamics of the clubhouse while they’re worrying more about lineups and stuff. Others are trust guys, who can serve as the manager’s sounding board, among other things. Some are combinations of all of these things. As Feinsand notes in his story, Boone said at his introductory press conference that he’s looking for this:

“I want smart sitting next to me. I want confidence sitting next to me. I want a guy who can walk out into that room and as I talk about relationships I expect to have with my players, I expect that even to be more so with my coaching staff. Whether that is a guy with all kinds of experience or little experience. I am not concerned about that.”