After missing the past six weeks with a strained hamstring Giancarlo Stanton is off the disabled list and will be in the Marlins’ lineup tonight against the Brewers. To make room on the roster Miami placed Casey Kotchman on the DL with a strained oblique, shutting him down just one week after returning from the 60-day DL with a hamstring injury of his own.
Miami’s offense is averaging an MLB-worst 3.0 runs per game–no other team is scoring fewer than 3.5 runs per game–and the Marlins’ non-Stanton hitters have combined for just 28 homers in 2,225 plate appearances this season.
Marcell Ozuna did such a good job filling in for Stanton in right field that the Marlins have decided to shift the 22-year-old rookie to center field. Ozuna has hit .331 with an .843 OPS in 36 games, which is remarkable considering he nearly jumped from Single-A to the majors, playing a grand total of just 10 games at Double-A.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.