Athletics outfielder Ramón Laureano is making himself a household name. The 24-year-old threw out three Red Sox runners during a four-game series last week, helping the A’s win three of those contests.
The Orioles, apparently, didn’t get the memo about Laureano. With runners on first and second and no outs in the bottom of the third inning on Tuesday night, Joey Rickard lined a single to shallow left-center off of Brett Anderson. The lead runner, Richie Martin, decided to test Laureano’s arm, which was a mistake. Laureano made his characteristic strong throw on one hop to catcher Josh Phegley, who applied the tag for the first out. The Orioles would fail to score in the third inning.
Laureano already has four outfield assists on the season, most among outfielders. He had nine last year in only 385 2/3 defensive innings, tied for 19th-most among outfielders. On a per-inning basis, Laureano had the highest rate of assists, averaging one per 43 defensive innings. Rickard ranked second with one every 64 innings; he had eight total in 514 2/3 innings.
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.