Signed by the Dodgers to an incentive-laden one-year contract as he recovers from a second Tommy John elbow surgery, former Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy is aiming to be ready for game action in June.
Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that Beachy has advanced to throwing bullpen sessions, but because this is his second time coming back from the surgery the targeted timetable is closer to 15 months than the typical 12 months.
If healthy Beachy has the potential to make a big impact for the Dodgers in the second half. His durability has always been an issue, but he’s 28 years old with a 3.23 ERA and 275 strikeouts in 268 career innings. His contract also includes a team option for 2016, so the Dodgers will be evaluating his ability to help next season too.
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.