Ivan Nova throws batting practice for first time since his Tommy John elbow surgery

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From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch comes word that Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova threw 20 pitches of live batting practice on Tuesday afternoon at the Yankees’ spring training complex in Tampa, Florida. It was his first time facing hitters since undergoing Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery last April.

Nova will throw another round of live BP on Friday. He’ll eventually progress to simulated games and then he will head off on a minor league rehab assignment. The expectation is that Nova will become an option for the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early June.

Nova, 28, posted a 3.10 ERA and 116 strikeouts across 139 1/3 innings for the Yankees in 2013.

He only made four starts last year before tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow.

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.