Nats put Strasburg on IL with right shoulder inflammation

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
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WASHINGTON — The Washington Nationals placed right-handed pitcher Stephen Strasburg on the 10-day injured list Sunday because of right shoulder inflammation.

The 2019 World Series MVP was set to start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He will now be replaced by right-hander Paolo Espino after the Nationals selected his contract. It is the fourth career start for the 34-year-old Espino.

“We shut him down, put him on the IL,” manager Dave Martinez said.

“He had to get an MRI on the shoulder. He’s got some inflammation on his shoulder so we want to be smart. There’s going to be no timetable when he comes back. Hopefully we get him back soon,” he said.

The move was retroactive to April 15.

Strasburg, 32, is 0-1 with a 6.30 ERA in two starts this season. He gave up three homers and seven earned runs in four innings in his last start, a 14-3 loss at St. Louis on Tuesday. His move to the IL was retroactive to Thursday.

Martinez said Strasburg — who signed a $245 million, seven-year contract with Washington before the 2020 season — threw his regular bullpen session this week and looked good. Strasburg’s shoulder discomfort came after that bullpen session.

In another move Sunday, the Nationals put right-hander Wander Suero on the 10-day IL with a left oblique strain and recalled righty Ryne Harper from the alternate training site in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Suero appeared in eight games out of Washington’s bullpen this season, with a 1.42 ERA.

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.