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Joakim Soria done for season due to hamstring strain

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From Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star comes word that Royals closer Joakim Soria is unlikely to pitch in the final four games of the season due to a hamstring strain that he suffered last weekend.

Soria was able to play catch on flat ground Friday without feeling discomfort, but the Royals’ medical staff needs to see him to throw consecutive bullpen sessions before giving their clearance and he simply won’t have enough time to pull that off.

Soria, 27, posted a career-worst 4.03 ERA and 1.28 WHIP in 60 relief appearances this year, striking out 60 batters in 60 1/3 innings while issuing 17 walks. He finished with only 28 saves and even lost a longtime nickname, albeit for the right reasons.

Billy Beane promoted to VP, David Forst named A’s general manager

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I’m so old I remember when general managers used to run baseball operations departments. Now they’re basically assistants.

The latest example: the Oakland Athletics have promoted Billy Beane to vice president of baseball operations and have named David Forst general manager. Forst has been with the A’s for 16 years and has been Beane’s assistant for 12 years, so it’s not exactly a situation in which Forst will be making the final calls. The official move came today, though the move has been in the works for some time, it seems.

Someone with a lot of good front office access is going to write a good story this winter about the title inflation going on in Major League Baseball over the past year. And it’s gonna be great when one of his or her sources breaks the pattern of saying “well, baseball transactions are so much more complex these days . . . ” and admits “hey, if Theo gets a fancy title and La Russa gets a fancy title I WANT A FANCY TITLE TOO.”

Not that it’s much of a secret as it is.

Brewers fire pitching coach Rick Kranitz

Wily Peralta, Rick Kranitz, Hernan Perez, Martin Maldonado
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Despite a change at general manager from Doug Melvin to David Stearns the Brewers quickly made it clear that they’re keeping Craig Counsell as manager, but today they fired pitching coach Rick Kranitz.

In fact, all of Milwaukee’s coaches except for hitting coach Darnell Coles and third base coach Ed Sedar were let go, as Counsell shakes up his staff after managing the Brewers to a 61-76 record as Ron Roenicke’s replacement.

Kranitz took over as the Brewers’ pitching coach in 2011, during which time they’ve ranked 11th among NL teams in ERA.