Astros place Lance McCullers Jr. on 10-day disabled list

Lance McCullers Jr.
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Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. is headed to the 10-day disabled list with right elbow discomfort, according to a team announcement on Sunday. McCullers was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s 14-0 blowout over the Dodgers after feeling tightness in his forearm and elbow and was scheduled to meet with team doctors in Houston on Sunday. The severity of his injury has yet to be determined, but he’s likely to be out of commission for some time.

Prior to his removal from the game, the 24-year-old righty helped shut out the Dodgers through four innings, allowing two hits, two walks and five strikeouts on 60 pitches. He’s 10-6 in 22 starts this season with a 3.93 ERA, 3.6 BB/9 and 9.9 SO/9 across 126 innings so far. While this is his first formal DL stint of the year, he also dealt with some elbow soreness back in 2016 and missed almost nine weeks of the season as a result.

In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Roberto Osuna has been reinstated from the restricted list and will assume McCullers’ place on the roster. Osuna received a 75-game suspension for violating the league’s policy on domestic violence back in June.

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.