Marco Scutaro receives injection in ailing back, considered “50-50” for Opening Day

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Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro has been limited to just one game this spring due to back soreness and now there’s a chance that he could begin the season on the disabled list.

According to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, Scutaro received an epidural injection in his back after he felt lingering stiffness in recent days. It was actually the second injection he has received this spring, but the first one obviously didn’t work. Giants manager Bruce Bochy hasn’t ruled him out for the start of the season, but with the clock ticking, he considers him “50-50” for Opening Day.

“This is to try to get him over the hump,” Bochy said. “He’ll be down a couple of days but the hope is that he’ll be good to go.”

Scutaro, 38, hit .297/.357/.369 with two home runs, 31 RBI, and a 34/45 K/BB ratio over 127 games last season. If he starts the season on the disabled list, Joaquin Arias will likely fill in at second base.

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.