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What’s on Tap: Previewing Thursday evening’s action

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Thursday gave us a light schedule, one that’s already halfway complete. The afternoon saw the Diamondbacks trample the Mets 9-0, the Pirates blank the Padres 4-0, and the Astros bashed the Twins 15-7. Rockies/Rangers and Braves/Brewers are still in action, while the Orioles and Athletics started not too long ago.

So let’s talk again about Rockies rookie outfielder David Dahl. We noted last week that Dahl hit safely in the first 10 games of his major league career. With a first-inning single in Thursday afternoon, Dahl kept his streak alive, which is now at 17 consecutive games to begin his career. That ties a major league record for the longest hitting streak to begin a career. The Reds’ Chuck Aleno also hit in 17 straight to begin his career in 1941. Dahl passed Juan Pierre, who hit in 16 straight, for the Rockies club record.

Dahl, rated as the Rockies’ second-best prospect by MLB Pipeline, entered Thursday’s action .365/.394/.619 with three home runs, nine RBI, and 16 runs scored in 66 plate appearances. That’ll do.

The rest of Thursday evening’s action…

Houston Astros (Chris Devenski) @ Minnesota Twins (Tommy Milone), 7:10 PM EDT [Game Two]

Los Angeles Angels (Jhoulys Chacin) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 7:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Boston Red Sox (Eduardo Rodriguez), 7:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ Chicago Cubs (Jon Lester), 8:05 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez) @ Kansas City Royals (Danny Duffy), 8:15 PM EDT

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.