Blue Jays’ Teoscar Hernández on IL after COVID close contact

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DUNEDIN, Fla. – The Toronto Blue Jays have placed outfielder Teoscar Hernandez on the injured list after he was exposed to someone with a positive coronavirus case outside of the team.

Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said Friday the team is conducting contact tracing and testing in accordance with Major League Baseball’s guidelines after Hernandez’s close contact.

“That’s all I can tell you about it right now,” Montoyo said.

Left-hander Ryan Borucki also went on the injured list with vaccine side effects, which included a fever and fatigue. He was sent home after arriving at the ballpark for Friday night’s game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Left fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. left after two innings in Friday night’s game with vaccination-related symptoms.

A number of Toronto players received shots before Thursday’s game with the Angels.

Montoyo got his second vaccination and said after the game that he felt a little tired.

“A lot of teams are going through this right now,” Montoyo said. “We’ll get better soon.”

Toronto placed right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the 10-day IL with right triceps inflammation. Outfielder Josh Palacios and pitchers Ty Tice and Joel Payamps were recalled from the alternate training site.

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.