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Ryan Cook dealing with shoulder inflammation

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According to Jane Lee of MLB.com, Athletics manager Bob Melvin said yesterday that Ryan Cook could be shut down from throwing for a couple of weeks due to right shoulder inflammation.

It would be better if there was no issue at all, but Melvin remains optimistic that Cook will have enough time to be ready for Opening Day. He threw six or seven bullpens coming into camp, so the hope is that he won’t have much trouble catching up with the rest of the relievers. As opposed to a starter who needs to get stretched out, Cook will only need to make a handful of brief appearances before the season.

Cook has been an important part of Oakland’s bullpen over the past two seasons, posting a 2.54 ERA in 142 appearances while averaging 9.4 K/9. Only 13 pitchers have appeared in more games during that timespan.

Padres announce Pat Murphy won’t return as manager in 2016

Pat Murphy
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Per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Padres have announced that interim manager Pat Murphy won’t return as the team’s manager in 2016. Haudricourt adds that Brewres manager Craig Counsell tried to get Murphy on his staff, and says to look for Murphy to join the Brewers for the 2016 season.

Murphy led the Padres to a 42-53 record after Bud Black was fired in June. He had previously managed for two years with Single-A Eugene in 2011-12, and at Triple-A Tucson and El Paso in 2013-14.

Former major leaguer Phil Nevin is a candidate for the Padres’ vacant managing position, according to Scott Miller of Bleacher Report.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.