After seeing his team lose three out of four to the Indians over the weekend — including an extra-inning loss on Sunday — Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon has decided to shake things up for Monday’s game against the Yankees.
The big change, aside from Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz each moving up a spot in the order, is Logan Morrison at the top. This will be his first start out of the leadoff spot in his career. Morrison doesn’t offer the speed most usually associate with a leadoff man, but he’s been doing a nice job getting on base recently. While he has a .240/.321/.389 batting line on the year, he posted a .379 on-base percentage in May to go along with just as many walks (16) as strikeouts (16). It’s worth a shot, especially since Austin Jackson has a lowly .303 on-base percentage dating back to the start of 2014.
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.