Matt Cain throws 55 pitches in first minor league rehab start

5 Comments

Giants right-hander Matt Cain made his first minor-league rehab start Tuesday, throwing 3.2 innings at Double-A as he comes back from a strained flexor tendon and surgery to remove bone ships from his elbow that have sidelined him since July of last year.

Cain allowed two runs on three hits in 3.2 innings, striking out two, walking two, and throwing 55 pitches. He’s aiming to come off the disabled list in early July, presumably bumping Ryan Vogelsong from a deep Giants rotation that just saw rookie Chris Heston throw a no-hitter Tuesday night.

Cain posted 2.93 ERA in 131 starts from 2009-2012, throwing 200-plus innings every season, but he had a 4.00 ERA in 184 innings two years ago and last year was shut down after just 15 starts with a 4.18 ERA. He’s making $21 million this season and under contract for the same salary in 2016 and 2017.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

Getty Images
3 Comments

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.