Luke Scott placed on disabled list with calf strain, could miss five weeks

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UPDATE: Marc Topkin of the Tampa Times reports that Scott has been placed on the disabled list. He could miss as much as five weeks.

3:20 PM: Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune reports that Scott received a cortisone shot in his calf and hopes to be return by April 8. In other words, he will begin the season on the disabled list.

11:01 AM: Luke Scott was sent for an MRI yesterday after he was forced to leave a minor league game due to continued soreness in his right calf. According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, Scott was diagnosed with a calf strain, which means that he will almost certainly begin the season on the disabled list.

The symptoms first popped up on Monday, but it wasn’t a major concern initially. Scott could be looking at an extended absence following his setback, though the Rays will likely know more once he sees the team doctor later today.

Assuming Scott begins the season on the disabled list, Brandon Guyer, Stephen Vogt or Chris Gimenez are the most likely options to replace him on the Opening Day roster. Shelley Duncan and Leslie Anderson are also possibilities, but the Rays would have to make room on the 40-man roster.

Scott, 34, batted .229/.285/.439 with 14 home runs, 55 RBI and a .724 OPS in 96 games last season. After declining his $6 million club option, the Rays brought him back this winter on a one-year, $2.75 million deal.

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.