A.J. Griffin shut down for three weeks due to flexor tendinitis

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It was easy to think the worst when right-hander A.J. Griffin was sent to a doctor yesterday due to elbow soreness, but the Athletics received some favorable news today.

According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Griffin was diagnosed with right flexor tendinitis and will be shut down for three weeks. This is a similar issue to what he dealt with late last year, which caused him to be left off the A’s playoff roster. While he might receive a platelet-rich plasma treatment, the good news here is that no structural damage was found.

Things could have been much worse for Griffin, but there’s no word yet on the status of Jarrod Parker, who is dealing with forearm soreness. As of now, the Athletics figure to begin the season with Sonny Gray, Scott Kazmir, Dan Straily, Jesse Chavez, and Tommy Milone in their rotation.

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.