Braves’ Soroka tears Achilles tendon again, lost for season

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ATLANTA — Atlanta Braves right-hander Mike Soroka is facing season-ending surgery after again tearing his right Achilles tendon.

The Braves said Saturday Soroka suffered the new tear on Thursday while walking to the clubhouse at Truist Park, where he was continuing his rehabilitation while the team is at Cincinnati.

“It was his first day out of the boot,” manager Brian Snitker said before Saturday’s game at Great American Ball Park. “He was just walking. I hate it for him. All signs were a go, until he took that step and felt that pop.”

Soroka now faces his third surgery on the Achilles. The team says the procedure will be scheduled within a week.

There was no timetable for Soroka’s return prior to this latest setback, although Snitker said he was hopeful that he could return by the end of this season. Soroka had not yet started throwing off the mound.

Snitker texted Soroka on Saturday morning after hearing the news and later spoke with him by phone.

“He’s put things in perspective,” Snitker said. “He’s ready for this next journey he’s going to be on. The day it happened, it really punched him in the gut.”

Soroka, who was Atlanta’s opening day starter in 2020, first tore the Achilles in a game against the New York Mets on Aug. 3, 2020. He had season-ending surgery and was working to return this season when he suffered a setback in May which led to a follow-up procedure.

Soroka was again working to return this season before tearing the same Achilles. The Braves say an MRI confirmed the new tear.

Soroka emerged as one of the foundations of the Braves’ rotation in 2019, when he went 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA. The Canadian earned a spot in the All-Star Game, finished second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

News of Soroka’s setback spread through the Braves clubhouse on Saturday.

“They’re all sick for him,” Snitker said.

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.