Things have been rough for Robinson Chirinos since the season ended.
First the 27-year-old Rays catcher broke his hand playing winter ball and now he’s sidelined for at least the next few days after suffering a concussion from a foul tip to the mask on Monday.
Chirinos was acquired from the Cubs last winter in the Matt Garza deal and got into 20 games with the Rays, but spent most of last season putting up mediocre numbers at Triple-A. He’s competing with Jose Lobaton to back up veteran Jose Molina, which could be a pretty sizable role considering Molina’s poor hitting and previous lack of everyday experience.
Hopefully this concussion doesn’t derail Chirinos’ career like it has so many other players during the past few seasons.
Robert Murray and MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reported earlier, respectively, that the Phillies signed pitcher Francisco Liriano and infielder Neil Walker to minor league contracts. If he makes the major league roster, Liriano will earn a salary of $1.5 million with an additional $1.25 million available through performance incentives. Walker’s contract information is not yet known.
Liriano, 36, struggled from 2016-18 but enjoyed a productive year out of the bullpen for the Pirates this past season. He posted a 3.47 ERA with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks over 70 innings. The lefty was quite effective against same-handed batters, limiting fellow lefties to a .659 OPS. That would figure to be a key component if Liriano makes the Phillies’ Opening Day roster.
Walker, 34, hit .261/.344/.395 with eight home runs and 38 RBI over 381 plate appearances with the Marlins last year. The veteran is versastile, having played first, second, and third base along with both corner outfield spots in recent seasons. Despite Walker’s versatility, it is tough to see room on the Phillies’ roster for him, barring injuries to other players. It never hurts to have depth.