Ryan Braun exits season opener with strained ribcage

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Ryan Braun didn’t have an issue with his right thumb during spring training, but now he has a new injury to deal with.

Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports that Braun exited Monday’s season opener against the Rockies with a ribcage strain. He went 0-for-2 with a strikeout before leaving the game. He’s scheduled to be reevaluated tomorrow, but this is something that could put him down for a little while. Gerardo Parra should get most of the playing time in right field for now.

Braun, 31, struggled though a thumb injury last season while hitting .266/.324/.453 with 19 home runs and 81 RBI over 135 games.

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.