John Gibbons still believes in Travis Snider

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Travis Snider, rated as the #6 overall prospect entering the 2009 season, failed to live up to lofty expectations with the Blue Jays. They cut their losses, trading him to the Pittsburgh Pirates last July for reliever Brad Lincoln. Jays manager John Gibbons, though, is still a believer. Via Rob Biertempfel:

“There’s no question the talent’s there,” Gibbons said. “Sometimes it takes a little time.”

It reminds Gibbons of another player familiar to Pirates and Blue Jays fans: Jose Bautista.

“Bautista’s a perfect example,” Gibbons said. “He was bouncing around, and it took him a while to get it going. Sometimes what happens is they give up on you too soon. But if you’re in the perfect spot and they’ve got time to give you a legitimate shot, that’s when guys usually get it going.”

Snider, now 25 years old has a career .724 OPS in 1,062 career big league at-bats. Though he didn’t enjoy offensive success in his two months with the Pirates last year (.652 OPS), he did make this catch.

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.