The Phillies season is going to end in September, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to look forward to. CSNPhilly.com:
Halladay, 36, is 11 weeks removed from shoulder surgery performed in mid-May. He’ll head to Clearwater on Thursday to “ramp up” his rehab and face live hitters, according to Phillies insider Jim Salisbury.
Halladay will pitch a simulated game on Saturday. He feels good and has suffered no setbacks. Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. hopes Halladay will be ready to return to the Phils’ rotation by September.
He won’t just be pitching for the warm fuzzies of Philly fans. He’ll also be showcasing himself for free agency this winter.
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.