Francisco Liriano and his filthy slider are dominating again

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Francisco Liriano followed up his Comeback Player of the Year-winning campaign with the Pirates last year with some rough patches this season, but now the 30-year-old left-hander is once again dominating lineups.

Liriano shut out the Phillies for eight innings Thursday night, racking up 12 strikeouts and totaling 25 swinging strikes on 106 pitches. He also shut out the Cubs for six innings in his last start and, dating back to May 30, he’s got a 2.49 ERA with 103 strikeouts in 87 innings while holding opponents to a .192 batting average.

Liriano’s win-loss record remains ugly and his ERA is about a half-run higher than last season, but he’s actually striking out more batters (10.0 vs. 9.1 per nine innings) and allowing a lower batting average against (.222 vs. .224). His control comes and goes, but that slider remains wicked at all times and few pitchers can miss bats quite like Liriano.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.