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Pirates hire Derek Shelton to be their new manager


The Pittsburgh Pirates’ search for a manager is over: they have hired Derek Shelton.

Shelton, 49, was the bench coach for the Minnesota Twins the past two seasons. In 2017 he was the quality control coach of the Blue Jays. Before that he was the Rays’ hitting coach from 2010 to 2016 and before that he was the hitting coach of the Indians, holding that job from 2005 until 2009.

Shelton replaces Clint Hurdle, who managed the Pirates for nine seasons. And he steps into a team with a new general manager and team president, at the early stages of a rebuild.

Good luck, Derek!


No, the Astros aren’t being targeted for HBPs in spring training

Alex Bregman
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On Wednesday, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman was hit by Cardinals pitcher Ramon Santos. It marked the seventh time an Astros batter had been hit in spring training exhibition games thus far, the highest total among all teams. As expected, teams are exacting revenge for the Astros’ cheating ways!

Well, not quite. The pitch Santos hit Bregman with was a 3-2 breaking ball that got away. Usually, if a pitcher is going to hit a batter as an act of revenge, he’ll attempt to do it with a first-pitch fastball.

José Altuve was also hit by a pitch against the Tigers on Sunday. The pitch, which looks to be the off-speed variety, appeared to graze his uniform as opposed to hitting him flush, so it was likely unintentional on the part of pitcher Nick Ramirez.

Other Astros to have been hit in spring training thus far: Alex De Goti, Aledmys Díaz, Osvaldo Duarte, Dustin Garneau, and Jake Meyers. Not exactly a who’s-who list of Code Breaker operatives.

Will some pitchers intentionally throw at the Astros this year? Almost certainly, despite commissioner Rob Manfred’s warning. Have they been doing it from the moment exhibition games began earlier this month? Certainly not.