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Troy Tulowitzki will undergo surgery to remove bone spurs in his heels

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Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki will miss at least eight weeks of the 2018 season after undergoing surgery to remove “bilateral heel bone spurs” in both of his feet, the team announced Friday. Tulowitzki was officially placed on the 60-day disabled list on Thursday and is scheduled to undergo treatment on Monday. He’s expected to spend six of the eight weeks rehabbing off the field.

Bone spurs have been a chronic irritant for the 33-year-old infielder over the past decade, albeit never to the point where they required surgical removal. This time, they developed in his right heel prior to spring training and lingered for several weeks, effectively keeping him off the field and out of any Grapefruit League games. Club GM Ross Atkins told reporters Friday that he believed Tulowitzki was making progress with the issue during camp, but supported the shortstop’s decision to undergo surgery after the spurs began to surface in his left heel as well. “We had five ankle/foot specialists talk to him,” Atkins said. “Three different physical meetings with specialists. At this point, without conservative treatment working, this is the next step.”

This will be the second straight season in which Tulowitzki has been sidelined with a serious injury and lengthy recovery process. He spent 65 days on the disabled list in 2017 after tripping over C.J. Cron‘s foot and spraining his right ankle. The veteran shortstop finished the year with just 66 games under his belt and slashed .249/.300/.378 with seven home runs in 260 PA for the club. Until he’s healthy enough to resume his post, the Blue Jays will continue to utilize a combination of Aledmys Diaz and Gift Ngoepe in his place.

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.