July 16, 2018 / 12:27 PM / 4 months ago

Major League Baseball notebook: Cards explain reasoning behind Matheny firing

The St. Louis Cardinals officially introduced interim manager Mike Shildt and further explained the dismissal of Mike Matheny on Sunday before their series finale against the Cincinnati Reds.

Jul 11, 2018; Chicago, IL, USA; St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (22) looks around the field before the start of the game against the Chicago White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Matheny was fired on Saturday on the heels of a rain-soaked 8-2 loss to the Reds that dropped the Cardinals to 47-46 on the season. Along with Matheny, the Cardinals parted ways with hitting coach John Mabry and assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller. St. Louis’ .245 average this season is good for eighth among NL teams, though it is 10th in runs scored (407).

“Unfortunately our club has not played up to its capabilities, and it was time for a new voice and new leadership,” owner Bill DeWitt Jr. said. “I think with Mike Shildt we have an opportunity to move forward into the second half.”

“We believe in this team. We believe in the talent and the character our players represent. We feel this is an opportunity to do a whole lot better. If it all comes together and they play as a team and respond to the new leadership, we believe we can put together a run hopefully toward the postseason.”

The Cardinals went on to beat the Reds, 6-4, in Shildt’s debut.

—The Chicago Cubs have placed outfielder Albert Almora Jr. on the family medical emergency list and recalled infielder David Bote from Triple-A Iowa.

Almora, 24, leads the team with a .319 batting average to go along with four home runs and 28 RBIs in 86 games. He also has shined defensively with a .988 fielding percentage in center field, where coaches and teammates routinely have praised his ability to track down fly balls in the gap.

The team did not disclose the reason for Almora’s absence. He must miss at least three days but no more than seven days as part of the designation, according to Major League Baseball rules.

—The San Francisco Giants placed right-handed starter Jeff Samardzija on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Infielder Kelby Tomlinson, was called up from Triple-A Sacramento to take his place.

Samardzija, who missed more than a month with shoulder tightness, struggled in a 4-3 loss to Oakland on Saturday, his second game since returning from the first DL stint. After the game, he told reporters he had trouble keeping his shoulder loose during the outing. In his two starts in July, Samardzija, 33, has pitched a total of nine innings, giving up five runs and 10 hits as his team lost both times.

Tomlinson, 28, is batting .221 in 48 games with the Giants, with just five extra-base hits in 113 at-bats.

—The Milwaukee Brewers placed second baseman Jonathan Villar (right thumb) on the 10-day disabled list and called up outfielder Brett Phillips from Triple-A Colorado Springs. The Brewers also sent right-hander Aaron Wilkerson back to Colorado Springs after he was called up to be the 26th man for Saturday’s doubleheader.

Villar, 27, is batting .261 with 26 runs and 14 stolen bases this season. Villar was used as a pinch hitter in the first game Saturday and started the second game, drawing a pair of walks.

Also on Sunday, the Pirates sent right-hander Clay Holmes down to Triple-A Indianapolis after he served as the 26th man Saturday. The team also recalled righty Tanner Anderson from Triple-A and sent slumping outfielder Austin Meadows down.

—Two days after Jose Fernandez started at first base for the Los Angeles Angels, he was optioned down to Triple-A Salt Lake. The Angels recalled right-hander Eduardo Paredes to take his place on the roster.

Fernandez, 30, is batting .250 with two doubles and seven singles in 36 at-bats this season — his first in the majors.

Paredes, 23, has a 7.71 ERA in 13 relief appearances this season, striking out 13 and walking six while giving up five home runs in only 16 1/3 innings.

—Field Level Media

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