Liriano plays catch, left shoulder checks out fine

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Twins starter Francisco Liriano skipped a scheduled bullpen session Friday because he had a bit of tightness in his throwing shoulder. For a guy with his injury history, any kind of abnormal discomfort is concerning, but he is going to survive this little issue.

According to Phil Mackey of Minneapolis’ ESPN 1500 AM, Liriano checked out fine this morning in an examination by doctors.

He even played catch from 120 feet and told reporters that he is hoping to throw a bullpen session within the next couple of days.

Liriano, 27, went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 31 starts last season. He struck out an ace-like 201 batters in 191.2 innings and is expected to serve as the Twinkies’ No. 1 starter this year.

Gleeman touched on Liriano’s impending free agency and failed extension talks last week.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.

Report: Phillies making Maikel Franco available in trade discussions

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Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.

Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.

It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.

Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.