Francisco Liriano struggled Sunday for the fourth time in four starts and the Twins have decided to make use of an off day on the schedule to skip his next turn in the rotation.
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Liriano will remain on the active roster all week, but won’t see any game action. Instead he’ll throw bullpen sessions Thursday and Saturday in preparation for rejoining the rotation May 1 versus the Angels.
Liriano was a mess for most of last season, but he’s been even worse this year with an 11.02 ERA and more walks (13) than strikeouts (12) in 16 innings as his diminished velocity combines with his terrible command. Moving him to the bullpen or trying to force him to accept a demotion to Triple-A were the Twins’ other options, so skipping one turn in the rotation is certainly the least drastic measure … for now.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reported on Monday that the Angels have received inquiries from multiple teams concerning starter Hector Santiago. He adds that the club is willing to listen to offers. Jon Morosi of FOX Sports and MLB Network reports that the Marlins are among the teams that have inquired.
Santiago, 28, has pitched to a 4.32 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 47 walks in 110 1/3 innings. Sabermetric statistics such as FIP, xFIP, and SIERA think the lefty has pitched even worse than his ERA indicates however, pitting 2016 as his worst performance to date.
Santiago is earning $5 million this season and will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility going into 2017.
We also learned earlier that, in an effort to bolster their starting rotation, the Marlins have also shown interest in Wade Miley of the Mariners and Jeremy Hellickson of the Phillies.
The Rangers placed DH Prince Fielder on the disabled list last week due to more neck discomfort. On Friday, Fielder met with Dr. Drew Dossett, who performed spinal fusion surgery on Fielder in 2014 for a herniated disk in his neck. Dossett has recommended another procedure, so Fielder will undergo season-ending surgery this week, Jeff Wilson of the Fort-Worth Star Telegram reports.
Fielder was having a rough season, batting .212/.292/.334 with eight home runs and 44 RBI in 370 plate appearances. He played in only 42 games in 2014, but returned in 2015 looking more like his old self. Unfortunately, neck and back issues are notoriously difficult to fix. Hopefully, this upcoming procedure does the trick for Fielder.
Fielder is owed $24 million per season through 2020, with the Tigers paying $6 million of it per season.