Diamondbacks’ Zac Gallen has hairline fracture in forearm

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen has a hairline fracture in his right forearm, casting more doubt on his ability to open the season on the active roster.

The 25-year-old Gallen hurt his forearm after getting jammed while taking batting practice nearly two weeks ago. Gallen said the injury doesn’t affect most of his pitches, but he feels some discomfort when throwing his curveball.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said he wasn’t sure how much time Gallen will miss. The right-hander is still allowed to play catch, and the injury will continue to be evaluated. He received two different medical opinions and both diagnosed the injury as a fracture.

Gallen was practicing his hitting because the National League will switch back to pitchers batting for the 2021 season after adopting the designated hitter during 2020’s shortened 60-game schedule.

“It’s definitely frustrating considering I’m kind of an advocate for the DH,” Gallen said Monday. “I get paid to pitch, that’s kind of how I look at it. It comes along with the job. I play in the National League, you have to hit, you have to bunt, you have to do those certain things.”

Gallen was the Diamondbacks’ best pitcher last season, finishing with a 3-2 record, 2.75 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 72 innings. He finished ninth in the National League Cy Young Award voting.

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.