Matt Garza “was really pumped up” for second rehab start

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After throwing 42 pitches in his first minor-league rehab start last week Matt Garza took the mound at Triple-A yesterday and threw 54 pitches.

He recorded 10 outs, giving up one run on four hits and zero walks in 3.1 innings. He threw 37 of 54 pitches for strikes, struck out three, and according to what manager Dale Sveum told Carrie Muskat of MLB.com “he was really pumped up, everything went really well.”

Muskat reports that Garza will likely make at least two more rehab starts before being cleared to return from a strained lat muscle. He last pitched for the Cubs in July, but the impending free agent is on track to rejoin the rotation by the end of the month.

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.