Jose Altuve
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Astros place Jose Altuve on 10-day disabled list

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Jose Altuve is headed to the 10-day disabled list with right knee discomfort, the Astros announced Saturday. Altuve hasn’t made an appearance in the lineup since he was pulled from Wednesday’s game against the Rockies, but it looks like it’ll take more than a couple days of rest to get him back on his feet. While a timetable for his return to the team has yet to be revealed, the move is retroactive to July 26, so the second baseman could return as soon as August 5 if he makes a quick recovery. A corresponding assignment will be made on Sunday.

This is Altuve’s first DL assignment in eight major league seasons. He isn’t anywhere close to the career numbers he posted in 2017, but that isn’t saying much: He’s batting a robust .329/.392/.464 with nine home runs, 14 stolen bases, and a league-leading 134 hits through 454 plate appearances. He went 1-for-2 with a double during Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to the Rockies, but was forced to make an early exit in the fourth inning after experiencing some pain in his right knee. The injury occurred several days earlier on a bad slide into third base.

It’s a double whammy for the Astros, who are scheduled to go into Sunday’s finale without Altuve or Carlos Correa. Correa landed on the 10-day disabled list with lower back soreness on June 29 and has yet to return to the field. He fielded ground balls on Saturday — the most progress he’s made to date, according to club manager A.J. Hinch — but has not been cleared for a rehab assignment and doesn’t seem to be close to resuming his post at short anytime soon.

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.