Brewers manager Ron Roenicke says Ryan Braun’s thumb issue is now a full hand issue

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As if the free-falling Brewers needed any more bad news …

Gerardo Parra is starting in Braun’s place on Tuesday night against the Marlins and might have to serve as the club’s primary right fielder going forward if Braun can no longer manage this lingering injury. Braun has been bothered by nerve problems in his right thumb since the first week of the regular season and he is currently sporting a career-worst .794 OPS. He’s batting just .230/.280/.397 since the All-Star break.

Milwaukee has dropped 12 of its last 13 games and would not have a place in the 2014 playoff mix if the season ended right now. This after leading the National League Central for 159 consecutive days.

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.