Red Sox place Christian Vazquez on 10-day disabled list

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Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a fractured right pinky finger, according to a team announcement on Sunday. In a series of corresponding moves, right-handers William Cuevas and Ryan Brasier have been selected from Triple-A Pawtucket, while righty Austin Maddox (right shoulder injury) has been transferred to the 60-day DL and Brian Johnson (left hip inflammation) has been assigned to the 10-day DL as well.

Vazquez sustained the injury while sliding into second on a stolen base attempt during the seventh inning of Saturday’s 15-4 win over the Royals. He remained in the game through the end of the inning, but was unable to come back out for the eighth and was soon replaced by Sandy Leon behind the dish. Per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe, he’ll undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of the injury and the length of what already appears to be a long recovery process.

Prior to his exit on Saturday, the 27-year-old catcher went 1-for-4 with a two-run single against the Royals. He’s currently batting a career-low .213/.249/.300 with three home runs and a .548 OPS through 218 plate appearances. While Vazquez works his way back to the field this summer, Leon is expected to receive the lion’s share of starts behind the plate, with Blake Swihart moving into the primary backup role.

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.