Twins send pitching prospect Alex Meyer to Triple-A

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Alex Meyer’s bid for an Opening Day spot on Minnesota’s pitching staff was unsuccessful, as the Twins have sent the 25-year-old right-hander to Triple-A.

Meyer is a former first-round draft pick and consensus top-100 prospect three years in a row, but he’s also already 25 years old and spent all of last season at Triple-A. For some context: He’s just five months younger than Madison Bumgarner, who’s thrown more than 1,000 innings for the Giants and was the World Series MVP.

By sending Meyer to Triple-A for a second go-around following spring training control problems the Twins are all but committed to either Mike Pelfrey or Tommy Milone as their fifth starter, with the loser of the rotation competition likely going to the bullpen as a long reliever.

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.