Report: Joe Kelly “is clearly on thin ice” with the Red Sox

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This winter Joe Kelly joked (or at least it seemed like a joke) that he was going to win the Cy Young award for the Red Sox this season, but now he might be headed back to the minors at age 27.

Kelly failed to make it out of the second inning Monday against the Twins, allowing seven runs while recording five outs, and he’s now 1-4 with a 6.24 ERA in nine starts this season.

Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that the Red Sox are thinking about demoting Kelly to Triple-A, with Eduardo Rodriguez likely tabbed as his replacement. According to McAdam “he’s clearly on thin ice” and Kelly may only have one more start to keep his job.

Kelly, who was acquired from the Cardinals last July as part of the Allen Craig/John Lackey trade, has a 3.78 ERA in 376 career innings despite being unable to turn his mid-90s fastball into a good strikeout rate.

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.