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Cardinals fire Matheny with team hovering near .500

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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The St. Louis Cardinals have fired manager Mike Matheny during his seventh season with the team hovering around .500.

The Cardinals announced Matheny’s firing after an 8-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday night, a defeat that dropped St. Louis to 47-46 and seven games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs.

Matheny went 591-473 as manager, and his tenure included a loss to the Boston Red Sox in the 2013 World Series. Matheny was a Gold Glove Award-winning catcher with St. Louis from 2000-2004 before getting his first managerial job with the club prior to the 2012 season.

The Cardinals made the playoffs in Matheny’s first four seasons before missing the past two postseasons.

Hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller were also fired, and bench Coach Mike Shildt was named the team’s interim manager.

A’s prospect Jesus Luzardo shut down with a shoulder strain

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Not a great couple of day for the Oakland A’s. A few moments ago they just dropped their second of two games against the Mariners to start the season and now they have bad news about their top pitching prospect, Jesus Luzardo. Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Luzardo will be shut down for 4-6 weeks with a strained muscle in his shoulder.

Luzardo was considered a candidate to open the season in the Oakland rotation but now it seems he won’t begin throwing again until late April or early May. Thus endeth a spring training in which he has allowed only one run in nine and two-thirds innings while striking out 15 and walking four.