MRI on Brewers star Christian Yelich shows no major issues

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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CHICAGO — The Milwaukee Brewers are moving along with their plan for Christian Yelich after an MRI on the slugger’s strained lower back showed no major issues.

Yelich hasn’t played since April 11. He was eligible to come off the injured list this weekend, but the 2018 NL MVP was sent back to Milwaukee because manager Craig Counsell said the outfielder had hit a “plateau” in his recovery.

“We basically just ruled out anything significant structurally that would show up on the MRI,” Counsell said before Sunday’s series finale against the Cubs. “We still need to make progress to get him back on the field and so from that perspective not much has changed. But we’ll keep moving forward and see what some activity tomorrow at the field brings.”

Milwaukee placed Yelich on the injured list April 17, with the move retroactive to April 14. He is batting .333 (10 for 30) in nine games this season.

The Brewers also are without center fielder Lorenzo Cain, who went on the IL on April 14 with a quadriceps strain. The 35-year-old Cain worked out on the field Saturday, and Counsell said it went well.

“We’re not there yet, but I think it was a stepping stone yesterday, back on the field,” Counsell said. “Whenever the players get on the field, it’s a good sign to me. It means that the training room is starting to kind of step aside and we’re starting to get into more baseball stuff. That’s where we’re at with Lorenzo. Now there’ll be a progression of running and baseball stuff out on the field that we have to go through.”

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.