Corey Knebel day-to-day with tweaked left knee

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Brewers closer Corey Knebel made an unplanned exit during the seventh inning of Saturday’s Cactus League contest against the Rockies. Postgame reports revealed that the reliever had slipped on the wet mound and tweaked his left knee, though club manager Craig Counsell said the pitcher’s removal was simply precautionary. Knebel won’t take the mound for several days and is considered day-to-day pending further evaluation.

The 26-year-old righty is on the cusp of his fourth season with the Brewers. He enjoyed his first All-Star run in 2017, capping a career-best performance with a 1.78 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 14.9 SO/9 through 76 innings. This spring, Knebel has yet to flash that dominance in limited Cactus League action, surrendering four runs on three hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings so far.

Thankfully for the Brewers, it doesn’t look like they’ll lose their star closer for any prolonged period of time. Counsell told reporters that Knebel was already scheduled for a couple of off days next week and will reassess the situation after he undergoes treatment on Sunday.

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.