George Springer expected to rejoin Astros on Wednesday

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Astros right fielder George Springer was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list May 6 after ramming his head into the outfield wall at Minute Maid Park while making a spectacular grab on the night of May 5. But there’s good news on that front.

According to beat writer Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Springer has been cleared to play in a minor league rehab game on Tuesday evening at Double-A Corpus Christi and is expected to rejoin the Astros on Wednesday in Houston for the second game of a two-game series against the Giants.

Springer had tallied four home runs, 10 stolen bases, and 14 runs scored in 27 games before landing on the 7-day disabled list. The 25-year-old had 20 homers and 51 RBI in 78 games last season as a rookie.

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.