Red Sox demote outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A

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It was hardly unexpected, but Sean McAdam of CSNNE.com reports that the Red Sox have demoted outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to Triple-A Pawtucket. David Ortiz is expected to be activated from the disabled list tomorrow in a corresponding roster move.

Bradley won the starting left field job with a fantastic showing this spring, but it didn’t translate once the regular season began. The 23-year-old batted just .097 (3-for-31) with one double, three RBI and a 12/6 K/BB ratio in 12 games. He hasn’t had a hit since April 5 and has barely seen the field in recent days, so he’s better off getting regular at-bats in the minor leagues.

Now that Ortiz is back in the fold, Jonny Gomes and Daniel Nava figure to split playing time in left field. Bradley still has a very promising future and could resurface at the big league level later this summer.

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.