Cardinals to send Miklos, Hudson, Bader to IL to start season

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Cardinals plan to start the season in Cincinnati with pitchers Kwang Hyun Kim, Dakota Hudson and Miles Mikolas on the injured list along with outfielder Harrison Bader.

Hudson always planned to begin on the season on the injured list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Kim is dealing with a back injury, Mikolas with a sore shoulder and Bader has a strained right foreman that could keep him out a month, the Cardinals said.

The Cardinals also reassigned pitcher Kodi Whitley and outfielder Lane Thomas and reassigned catchers Tyler Heineman and Dennis Ortego and infielders Max Moroff and Jose Rondon to the minors as they settle their opening day roster.

The moves mean the Cardinals plan to keep utility man John Nogowski, infielder Edmundo Sosa, pitcher Jake Woodford and outfielders Austin Dean and Justin Williams on the roster they will submit Thursday to start the season.

“It was a tough competition, there were some tough conversations,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said. “There’s some guys left off the roster who are major league players that we couldn’t play with. And good teams have to have that depth.”

Among the tightest competitions was backup catcher to Yadier Molina, where Andrew Knizner earned the job to begin his first full big league season and the switch-hitting Heineman could be called upon to help later this season.

Bader’s injury opened the way for Williams, who had a strong spring training, to join top prospect Dylan Carlson and Tyler O'Neill in the outfield. Dean and Nogowski will be the primary backups, though Tommy Edman can also play outfield.

Without Kim or Mikolas on their opening day roster, the Cardinals will roll out Jack Flaherty and ageless wonder Adam Wainwright at the top of the rotation. Hard-throwing Carlos Martinez, a candidate for the back of the bullpen, will get a chance to prove himself as a starter along with fellow relief options Daniel Ponce de Leon and John Gant.

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.