Rockies demote Drew Pomeranz to Triple-A

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Drew Pomeranz was the prospect centerpiece of the Ubaldo Jimenez trade in mid-2011 and started 22 games for Colorado last season, but the Rockies demoted the left-hander to Triple-A.

Pomeranz had an ugly 2-9 record last season as a 23-year-old rookie, but his 4.93 ERA was right around average for someone calling Coors Field home and of the nine pitchers to start at least 10 games for the Rockies only Jhoulys Chacin (4.48) had a lower ERA. And Chacin is now the Opening Day starter.

Pomeranz was very good at Triple-A last season with a 2.51 ERA and 46/20 K/BB ratio in 47 innings, but senior vice president of major league operations Bill Geivett told John Schlegel of MLB.com that the former No. 5 overall pick is going back down to work on his off-speed stuff:

Where he’s at right now, he’s an attacking fastball guy but with limited use of his secondary pitches. We’ve got to get that back in order so he can handle a game plan and handle a lineup and do the type of things that I think are not that far away.

Given the state of the Rockies’ rotation right now Pomeranz could be back in a hurry.

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.