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Miguel Cabrera diagnosed with chronic knee issue

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Veteran slugger Miguel Cabrera has been diagnosed with a chronic knee condition, one that will be with him for the remainder of his career, Evan Woodbery of the MLive Media Group reports. As a result, Cabrera will be moved off of first base to contribute exclusively as a designated hitter. Doctors said season-ending surgery was a possibility, but Cabrera went against it, saying, “Forget about that. I’m done with that.”

Cabrera, 36, has been able to hit for contact but almost no power this season. He owns a .284/.356/.356 triple-slash line with only two home runs and 22 RBI in 219 plate appearances. Cabrera also only racked up three homers in 157 PA in an injury-shortened 2018 campaign as well.

It’s a shame injuries are slowing Cabrera down as he’s sitting on 467 career home runs, good for 35th place on the all-time leaderboard. He was once considered a lock to join the 500-homer club, a group that boasts only 27 members. The future Hall of Famer will have four years and at least $132 million remaining on his contract after this season.

Cabrera is back in the lineup for Tuesday night’s game against the Rays. He hadn’t played since May 31. Brandon Dixon is handling first base. He could get the majority of starts there, sharing time with John Hicks.

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.