Giancarlo Stanton’s recovery from hamate bone surgery “definitely slower” than expected

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Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton had surgery on June 28 to repair a broken hamate bone. The injury timetable was 4-6 weeks, with the further end suggesting a mid-August return for the slugger. But as MLB.com’s Steve Wilaj reports, Stanton said is recovery is “definitely slower” than expected.

Stanton said he’s been hitting balls off of a tee, but still feels pain. He’s swinging “as strong as it allows”.

It sounds like the Marlins, 42-62 entering play Sunday, should expect to get Stanton back towards the end of August, assuming he suffers no more setbacks. Though he no longer qualifies on the leaderboard, Stanton is still tied with Todd Frazier for second in the major leagues with 27 home runs, two behind league leader Bryce Harper. He’s also knocked in 67 runs while batting .265/.346/.606.

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.