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Matt Cain is the Giants’ No. 5 starter

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Giants’ right-hander Matt Cain has been selected as the fifth and final starter for the club’s 2017 rotation, according to MLB.com’s Chris Haft. The news comes as little surprise, despite the emergence of lefty rotation candidate Ty Blach this spring.

Blach made a convincing case for the No. 5 spot, giving up no more than two runs in all but one of his Cactus League outings and finishing the spring with a 4.22 ERA over 21 1/3 innings in camp. Cain, by comparison, labored through 25 1/3 innings with a 7.82 ERA, striking out 19 batters while allowing 23 runs. Those numbers come on the heels of one of Cain’s more disappointing runs with the Giants; in 2016, the veteran right-hander produced exactly 0.0 fWAR, lasting 89 1/3 innings with a 5.64 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 as he split duties between the rotation and bullpen.

Still, Cain is due $20 million in 2017 as he rounds out a five-year contract extension with the Giants. That, Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle says, is likely a significant factor that helped shape the back end of manager Bruce Bochy’s rotation, though things could change quickly if Cain struggles out of the gate. Blach, meanwhile, will wait in the bullpen, where Bochy estimates he’ll see some long relief opportunities and potential spot starts as the season wears on.

Braves senior advisor John Hart Resigns

Associated Press
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Braves senior advisor John Hart announced his resignation today.

Hart, who was once the team’s GM, then returned to the role on an interim basis following the dismissal of John Coppolella in the wake of MLB’s investigation into the team’s practices in Latin America. With the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos as the team’s new General Manager, Hart was shuttled into a senior advisor role with no final say over baseball decisions. It was expected that he’d leave the organization once his contract was up at the end of the year, but he decided to quit now.

One wonders if he was merely getting on with the inevitable or if his early resignation is a sign that the results of MLB’s investigation will be such that he doesn’t want to be around when they come down.