Recovered from hip surgery, David Aardsma now has a sprained elbow ligament

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David Aardsma has struggled mightily at Triple-A while on a rehab assignment for his offseason hip surgery, allowing seven runs in four innings, and now he’s been diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow.

He’s scheduled to get a second opinion from Dr. Lewis Yocum, who is probably second to only Dr. James Andrews when it comes to names you don’t want attached to stories about pitchers.

Or as Larry Stone of the Seattle Times put it: “Not good news.”

Brandon League has thrived as Seattle’s closer in Aardsma’s absence, converting 9-of-9 save chances with a 3.77 ERA and 12/2 K/BB ratio in 14 innings, but dating all the way back to the middle of last season the Mariners had been hoping to get some value for Aardsma via trade. Now he might be out until 2012.

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.