D-Backs get good news on Jason Kubel, Didi Gregorius

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Outfielder Jason Kubel will be ready to rejoin the Diamondbacks’ lineup on May 1 after he makes a few rehab starts with Triple-A Reno. Kubel is recovering from a strained left quadriceps, which dampened his hot start to the season. In his first eight games, he hit .333 with two home runs.

Meanwhile, Didi Gregorius had a CT scan on his head and told the media this afternoon that everything is looking good. Gregorius was hit in the head by Rockies pitcher Josh Outman yesterday. Though satisfied with the test results, he will confer with a team doctor before deciding if a stint on the 7-day concussion disabled list is necessary, per Nick Piecoro.

 

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.