Out since May 20 with a strained oblique, Phillies second baseman Chase Utley has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Double-A.
Assuming he doesn’t have a setback Utley’s rehab stint is expected to be just a few games, potentially setting him up to come off the disabled list this weekend.
Philadelphia is 14-13 in Utley’s absence, but Corey Seidman of CSNPhilly.com points out that his replacements at second base have hit a combined .190 with a .461 OPS. Utley hit .272 with an .814 OPS in 44 games before the injury.
Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports that the Tigers have signed Francisco Liriano to a one-year, $4 million contract.
Liriano split time between the Blue Jays and Astros last year, putting up a 5.66 ERA in 38 games, 18 of which were starts, striking out 85 and walking 53 in 97 innings. He pitched two-thirds on an inning in the World Series, but overall it was a pretty substandard season. But hey, those innings ain’t gonna eat themselves, and Liriano will eat some in Detroit.
Not to speak ill of him: he is almost certainly the second best Francisco Li- player in the division.