Twins call up prospect Alex Meyer after switch to bullpen

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One month ago the Twins shifted top-100 prospect Alex Meyer from the rotation to the bullpen at Triple-A due to ongoing control problems. And now they’re calling him up for his MLB debut as a reliever.

Meyer thrived in the bullpen, posting a 0.53 ERA and 20/6 K/BB ratio in 17 innings while holding opponents to a .188 batting average. And at 6-foot-9 with a high-90s fastball the former first-round draft pick certainly profiles as a potential late-inning bullpen option.

His control remains an issue, but the Twins are hoping that Meyer focusing on working 1-2 innings at a time will allow him to fully unleash his powerful raw stuff. Glen Perkins has the closer role locked down, but Meyer could supplant Casey Fien and Blaine Boyer as Minnesota’s primary setup man three years after the Twins acquired him from the Nationals in exchange for Denard Span.

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.