Edinson Volquez is on the comeback trail

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Edinson Volquez.jpgEdinson Volquez, who is currently working his way back from Tommy John surgery last August, threw 60 pitches at Great American Ballpark on Friday, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

“He looked great,” Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. “He threw
all his pitches. He really looked good.”

While he is on the disabled list, Volquez is concurrently serving a 50-game suspension for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Though he is not being paid, Volquez is allowed to go out on a minor league rehab assignment during the suspension, which ends on June 13. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said Volquez is “probably” a few weeks away from that.

In the meantime, Volquez is scheduled begin pitching in extended spring training games in Arizona. The Reds hope to have him back sometime after the All-Star break, whether in late July or early August. It’s hard to expect much from him, but similar to what Tim Hudson did for the Braves last season, Volquez could provide a nice late-season boost if the Reds manage to stay in the race.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.