Dan Uggla has Lasik eye surgery, placed on disabled list

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Braves second baseman Dan Uggla has struggled with vision problems for much of this season and he’s finally decided to undergo Lasik eye surgery.

He’s headed to the disabled list and to replace Uggla on the roster Atlanta recalled Tyler Pastornicky from Triple-A, where he was hitting .292 with four homers and a .747 OPS in 74 games. Pastornicky saw extensive action for the Braves last year and got into 18 games for them earlier this season.

Uggla has hit .186 with a league-high 146 strikeouts, including a .133 batting average and 30 strikeouts in 24 games since the All-Star break. Lasik surgery tends to involve an almost immediate recovery, although Uggla’s job requires more from his eyes than most. Presumably he’ll be back in the minimum 15 days. Mark Bowman of MLB.com writes that the Braves wanted Uggla to have the surgery back in spring training.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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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.