Bruce Rondon elects free agency

Bruce Rondon
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White Sox right-handed reliever Bruce Rondon has elected free agency. Rondon was outrighted to Triple-A Charlotte last week, but declined the assignment and will try to latch onto another organization before the end of the year.

Rondon, 27, signed a minor league pact with the White Sox in February. He never quite hit his stride with the team, however, and finished a four-month run in the majors with an underwhelming 8.49 ERA, career-worst 8.2 BB/9, and 12,1 SO/9 through 29 2/3 innings.

While there are still some things working in Rondon’s favor — a fastball that tops out around 97 m.p.h. and a SO/9 that regularly crests the 12.0 mark — it’s highly unlikely that he’ll return to the majors again this season. His track record suggests he’s far better suited to the minors, where he holds a career 2.72 ERA, 5.2 BB/9 and 10.3 SO/9 over 10 seasons.

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.