After dropping the first two games of the season to the Red Sox, Yankees manager Joe Girardi has made some changes to his lineup for tonight’s series finale against right-hander Ryan Dempster.
The top three hitters in the Yankees’ lineup went just 2-for-23 over the first two games. Girardi told Brian Heyman of the Journal News that the changes were strategic, as he wants to break up the string of left-handers in the top of the lineup. Girardi used Brett Gardner, Ichiro Suzuki and Robinson Cano out of the first three spots in last night’s 7-4 loss.
Cano batted second in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Tigers last October, but he hasn’t been there in a regular season game since September 10, 2010. Hey, desperate times.
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.