Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones exited Saturday’s game with a case of left lower back tightness, per a team announcement. Jones lasted six innings during the Tigers’ 2-1 win over the Indians, but wasn’t able to make it past the sixth inning and was replaced by Victor Reyes to start the seventh. He’s considered day to day for the time being.
Prior to his departure, Jones went 1-for-1 with a walk and a two-run home run, his eighth of the season. The blast — a 360-footer over the left-field wall — single-handedly gave the Tigers the edge they needed to move past the Indians and even the series. It’s a welcome improvement on a batting line that sat around .206/.261/.357 with seven home runs and a .618 OPS entering Saturday’s contest.
Jones wasn’t the only Tigers player to draw health concerns this weekend. Southpaw Francisco Liriano was scratched from his scheduled start with an allergic reaction and sent to the hospital to undergo tests, though nothing conclusive appears to have been revealed just yet. Fellow lefty Blaine Hardy stepped in for Liriano on Saturday and tossed five innings of one-run, one-strikeout ball to secure the win.
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.