Daisuke Matsuzaka likely “out for a minimum of a month”

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Yesterday the Red Sox announced that an MRI exam revealed “elbow tightness consistent with a UCL sprain” for Daisuke Matsuzaka and Gordon Edes of ESPN Boston reports that they expect him “to be out for a minimum of a month.”

Believe it or not that would actually qualify as good news for Matsuzaka, because UCL sprains are often precursors for Tommy John surgery and that would knock him out for 12-18 months.

Matsuzaka is scheduled to be re-examined in two weeks, at which point the Red Sox should have a much better idea about whether he can avoid surgery. In the meantime the search for rotation help has led them all the way down to Kevin Millwood.

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.