Pirates get their man, hire Clint Hurdle as new manager

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Clint Hurdle has clearly been atop the Pirates’ manager wish list all offseason, but the Mets expressing interest in the former Rockies skipper threatened to ruin Pittsburgh’s plans.

However, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com the Pirates have agreed to a contract with Hurdle, who’ll replace John Russell as manager of a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 1992.

Hurdle served as the Rangers’ hitting coach this season, so the Pirates put their manager search on hold until the World Series was over and they could interview him. He took the Rockies to the World Series in 2007, but had a 534-625 (.461) overall record that included just one winning season in eight years.

Now that Hurdle is officially out of the mix, the Mets are reportedly deciding between Terry Collins and Bob Melvin as their next manager.

Clayton Kershaw might return to the Dodgers’ rotation next week

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Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw is nearing his return to the mound, according to club manager Dave Roberts. Both Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) and fellow lefty Rich Hill (left middle finger blister) are scheduled to toss simulated games on Saturday; depending on the outcome, Roberts says Kershaw could forgo a minor league assignment and slot back into the rotation by Thursday.

Kershaw, 30, was diagnosed with biceps tendinitis as the team closed out their Mexico Series at the start of the month. He has not made a start in several weeks, but was finally able to resume throwing on Sunday and managed to get through two successful bullpen sessions. Though Dodgers’ ace hasn’t been completely injury-free over his 11-year career in the majors, this is the first significant issue he’s had with his pitching arm so far. The team is expected to take every precaution with the lefty, and will likely limit him to just four innings during Saturday’s simulated game.

Prior to his injury, Kershaw was working on another dominant run with the club, sporting a 2.86 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 9.8 SO/9 through his first 44 innings of the season. While Kershaw, Hill and left-handed starter Hyun-Jin Ryu served their respective terms on the disabled list this month, the Dodgers utilized a combination of relievers Ross Stripling and Brock Stewart, both of whom impressed during their limited time in the rotation.