It doesn’t sound like Carlos Beltran is going to be ready for Opening Day

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Carlos Beltran told Adam Rubin of ESPN New York earlier this afternoon that while he has been cleared for some baseball activities, he will be limited to hitting and other non-running activities for the time being.

Beltran reports that his knee currently feels “60 percent better” than it did one week ago and according to Jon Heyman of SI.com, he hopes to play in a game within a week.

Such a timetable obviously gives Beltran little time to get reps in right field, so the odds of him being ready for the season are getting pretty long at this point. Beltran essentially admitted as much to Rubin this afternoon, saying that Opening Day isn’t the finish line.

“I would love to be there for Opening Day, and I’m shooting for that for sure. But, at the same time, we’re being careful with this. I’m being careful. And I want to make sure that when I’m in there, I’m in there.”

If Beltran starts the season on the disabled list, the Mets will likely go with some combination of Scott Hairston, Willie Harris and Lucas Duda in right field.

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

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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.