Carlos Beltran suffers right toe bruise on hit-by-pitch

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Carlos Beltran made an early exit from today’s Grapefruit League game against the Marlins after he was hit on the right foot by a pitch from right-hander Jacob Turner in the first inning. While the veteran outfielder was diagnosed with a right toe bruise after X-rays ruled out a fracture, he told Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com that he was in a lot of pain.

“I tried not to think about it, and tried to run regular around the bases, but then it got sore,” Beltran said, before adding, “It’s painful. It’s painful.”

The injury comes just two days before Beltran is scheduled to join his native Puerto Rico for the upcoming World Baseball Classic. While he’s considered day-to-day right now, he didn’t rule out the possibility that it could affect his participation in the tournament.

Beltran, who turns 36 in April, batted .269/.346/.495 with 32 home runs, 97 RBI and an .842 OPS last season. He’s owed $13 million this season.

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.