Carlos Beltran goes 3-for-4 in Single-A rehab game

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Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran went 3-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored on Saturday during a rehab game with Single-A Port St. Lucie.  He also played seven full innings of center field and had two put-outs, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

Beltran went 2-for-3 on Friday night and is beginning to show that his timing at the plate is nearly back to full strength.  He has been on the 15-day disabled list since late March and the 60-day disabled list since late May.  Now it appears that he is around two weeks from returning to the Mets’ big-league starting lineup.

Manager Jerry Manuel hinted to reporters last week that Beltran might return Monday for the Mets’ three-game series against the Marlins in Puerto Rico, but that has already been debunked.  Instead, it appears that the outfielder will continue to climb his way through the Mets’ minor league system, boosting ticket sales and facing increasingly competitive pitching at every stop. 

The boys at the Star-Ledger believe that he will not return to the starting lineup in New York until after the All-Star break, which runs from July 12-14.  It’s certainly possible.

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.