David Wright will begin minor league rehab assignment on Sunday

David Wright
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Mets third baseman David Wright is poised to begin a rehab assignment with High-A Lucie, the team announced Saturday. It hasn’t been two weeks since club GM John Ricco said the infielder was “coming up against the clock” in order to play this season, and while there still doesn’t appear to be a definite timetable for his return to the majors, it’s a big step forward as he looks to resume his pro ball career.

Wright, 35, hasn’t played in a major league game since May 2016 and hasn’t appeared at any level of professional baseball since last August. His injuries have been numerous and varied; in the years following his final game in the majors, he’s suffered multiple back, shoulder, and neck issues and undergone neck surgery, right rotator cuff surgery, and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back. He’s been limited in his baseball activities since then, naturally, only taking batting practice and fielding grounders on a few occasions at Citi Field, and finally appears healthy enough to take the next step in his recovery process.

Of course, there’s no way to guarantee that future injuries aren’t in Wright’s future or that he’ll make it back to the majors anytime soon — let alone return to the .300+ average, 30+ homers, and 100+ RBI he posted in his prime. For now, he’ll work on making smaller gains, starting with the five innings he’s scheduled to play during High-A Lucie’s match against the Phillies’ Clearwater Threshers on Sunday.

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.