Brandon Beachy throws for first time since elbow surgery

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Brandon Beachy was leading the league in ERA when he was shut down with an elbow injury in June and underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery.

Yesterday the Braves right-hander threw for the first time since going under the knife, telling Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that he “felt giddy, like a little kid” and “it was fun.”

In this case “throwing” means simply playing catch from a distance of about 30 feet, so Beachy is a long way from re-entering the Braves’ plans, but as he said “it’s better than nothing.”

A typical recovery timetable would potentially make him an option for the Braves around midseason, although that’s far from guaranteed even if Kris Medlen’s amazing return from Tommy John surgery has everyone thinking about best-case scenarios.

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.