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Rafael Devers, Josh Bell named Players of the Month of May

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Major League Baseball announced on Monday that Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers and Pirates first baseman Josh Bell have been named Players of the Month in their respective leagues for the month of May.

Devers, 22, batted .351/.380/.640 with eight home runs and 24 RBI in 121 plate appearances last month. The Red Sox went 16-10, keeping pace in the AL East after a slow start to the season.

Bell, 26, hit .390/.442/.797 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI in 129 trips to the plate. Though no fault of his own, the Pirates only went 15-14 in May but maintain very much in the thick of things in the NL Central.

Other award winners for the month of May…

Pitchers of the Month

  • AL: Lucas Giolito, White Sox (5-0, 1.74 ERA, 46/10 K/BB in 41 1/3 IP)
  • NL: Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers (5-0, 0.59 ERA, 36/3 K/BB in 45 2/3 IP)

Rookies of the Month

  • AL: IF Michael Chavis, Red Sox (.248/.331/.457, 7 HR, 19 RBI in 118 PA)
  • NL: OF Austin Riley, Braves (.356/.397/.746, 7 HR, 20 RBI in 63 PA)

Relievers of the Month

  • AL: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (11 SV, 0.79 ERA, 18/3 K/BB in 11 1/3 IP)
  • NL: Josh Hader, Brewers (6 SV, 0.71 ERA, 21/4 K/BB in 12 2/3 IP)

Fitting for MLB that two of its most controversial players — to say the least — were award winners.

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.