Reds won’t move Shin-Soo Choo to left field with Ryan Ludwick out

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Ryan Ludwick’s torn shoulder labrum gave the Reds a potential excuse to move Shin-Soo Choo out of center field–where he’s basically never played regularly–and use Chris Heisey there.

Heisey is going to sub for Ludwick anyway and has significantly more center field experience than Choo, but manager Dusty Baker told Mark Sheldon of MLB.com that moving Choo is not even a consideration:

He’s been there all spring. We got him over here to play center field. He’s equal to Heisey in center field. You don’t want to tear up everything.

Ludwick is expected to miss at least three months, so it would hardly be a short-term switch, but unless top prospect Billy Hamilton forces his way into the Reds’ plans with a huge start at Triple-A they’ll stick with the Choo in center field and piece together fill-in work in left field.

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.