Mets plan to give Travis d’Arnaud significant playing time for remainder of the season

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports is reporting that the Mets plan to give rookie catcher Travis d’Arnaud significant playing time even when John Buck returns from paternity leave. He went 0-for-2 with two walks in the series finale against the Padres this afternoon, maintaining his line on the season at .000/.500/.000 in eight plate appearances over his first two games.

In 78 plate appearances with Triple-A Las Vegas prior to his promotion, d’Arnaud was hitting .304 with a .487 on-base percentage and nearly twice as many walks as strikeouts. He had previously missed a significant portion of the season, between April 17 and August 9, due to a fractured metatarsal in his left foot.

d’Arnaud, rated the #6 overall prospect in baseball entering the season by MLB.com, was one piece that came to the Mets in the R.A. Dickey trade with the Blue Jays. He was joined by prospects Noah Syndergaard and Wuilmer Becerra, as well as the veteran Buck.

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.