Realmuto starting C for NL, Narváez replaces Posey, Molina

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DENVER — Philadelphia’s J.T. Realmuto will take over for injured San Francisco catcher Buster Posey as the National League’s starter in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Coors Field.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina earned his 10th All-Star selection, among 10 replacements announced Saturday by Major League Baseball, then said hours later he would also skip the All-Star Game. He was replaced by Milwaukee catcher Omar Narvaez.

Molina was elected on the players’ ballot and filled the spot vacated when Posey was put on the injured list Friday, five days after his left thumb was bruised by a foul tip. Narvaez will make his first All-Star appearance.

Major League Baseball also said Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts was injured and won’t participate, though Betts played an entire nine innings Friday night.

Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield and Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson also earned selections from the players’ ballot, replacing Houston second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa.

Altuve said he needed time off to deal with unspecified issues with his left leg, and Correa said he wanted to spend time with wife Daniella, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Merrifield became a two-time All-Star. Anderson, the 2019 AL batting champion, earned his first All-Star trip.

New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom also said he was withdrawing from the All-Star Game, wanting to rest for the second half. DeGrom, who has a 1.08 ERA, was bothered in the first half by discomfort in his right lat muscle, tightness in his right side and flexor tendinitis in his right arm.

The commissioner’s office picked Washington’s Max Scherzer, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler, the Mets’ Taijuan Walker and Milwaukee’s Freddy Peralta as additions to the NL pitching staff. Mets manager Luis Rojas and Brewers manager Craig Counsell had said Friday their pitchers would be added.

Scherzer earned his eighth All-Star selection.

MLB also added Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner to the NL roster, and Oakland pitcher Chris Bassitt and Tampa Bay second baseman Joey Wendle to the AL roster.

Houston outfielder Michael Brantley and San Diego pitcher Yu Darvish are withdrawing becauce of injuries.

Cleveland pitcher Shane Bieber, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Washington outfielder Kyle Schwarber were previously ruled out because of injuries.

San Francisco’s Kevin Gausman and Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff remain active for the game but are scheduled for starts for their teams on Sunday.

Houston reliever Ryan Pressly will miss the game because of paternity leave.

Anderson, Bassitt, Peralta, Walker and Wendle raise the total to 39 first-time All-Stars, matching 2013 for the high.

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.