Cardinals place Jaime Garcia on the 15-day DL

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Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia had two uncharacteristically bad starts against the Rockies and Brewers recently, surrendering five and six runs, respectively. Garcia dealt with shoulder issues last year and they may be to blame for his recent adversity as well. The Cardinals have placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain, and he will see Dr. James Andrews for further input.

Mitchell Boggs has been recalled from Triple-A Memphis to take Garcia’s vacant roster spot, but the team will soon decide on a starter to take Garcia’s place. Garcia is the third Cardinals starter to be sidelined, joining Chris Carpenter (who may return in the second half out of the bullpen) and Jake Westbrook (who should begin a throwing program soon).

Garcia is concerned. Via MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch:

“I would say at this point it’s worse,” Garcia said, when asked how the discomfort compared to what he dealt with last year. “There’s a lot more pain than last year. It started three starts ago. I was feeling great up until that point. I basically tried to take care of doing little things here and there and it went downhill getting worse and worse.”

An MRI taken on Garcia’s shoulder on Saturday came back inconclusive. He is scheduled to visit with Dr. James Andrews next week for another opinion. Because Garcia already tried the rehab route for this injury, the only option this time may be undergoing a procedure.

“I’m very concerned, especially with the way I felt last night and the way I feel today,” Garcia said of that possibility.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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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.