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.
Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports that the Red Sox are calling up third base prospect Rafael Devers. He’ll be in Seattle for the start of the three-game set between the Sox and Mariners.
Devers, 20, is the top prospect in the Boston system according to MLB Pipeline. He has spent most of his season with Double-A Portland, where he hit .300/.369/.575 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 320 plate appearances. He was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket after the All-Star break. In eight games with Pawtucket, Devers hit .355/.412/.581 with two home runs and four RBI.
There is still just over a week until the non-waiver trade deadline, but perhaps the Red Sox seem confident Devers can be the answer to the third base problem.
It’s not a good day if you’re a star starting pitcher. First Clayton Kershaw, now Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals’ right-hander lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks, leaving with an apparent injury. Strasburg held the D-Backs to a hit and three walks with two strikeouts without allowing a run. Matt Grace relieved him in the third inning.
Including Strasburg’s two innings on Sunday, he’s carrying a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio in 121 2/3 innings.
The Nationals should pass along word on Strasburg’s condition shortly.