Michael Pineda tops out at 95 mph in extended spring training game

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The Yankees still haven’t gotten anything out of right-hander Michael Pineda since he was acquired from the Mariners last offseason, but here’s an encouraging note to pass along regarding his rehab from shoulder surgery.

According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said that Pineda sat at 93 mph and topped out at 95 mph during an outing in extended spring training today. That’s great news considering how he struggled with his velocity prior to his labrum surgery last May.

Cashman told Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York earlier this week that Pineda should be ready for a minor league rehab assignment this month. If all goes well, he could join the Yankees at some point in June.

Pineda, who turned 24 in January, had a 3.74 ERA and 173/55 K/BB ratio in 171 innings over 28 starts as a rookie with the Mariners in 2011. Shoulder injuries can be tricky, but he could provide a big boost to the Yankees’ rotation if healthy.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

Minnesota Twis v Kansas City Royals
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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.