Matt Kemp makes a most triumphant return

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Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL Matt Kemp!

Last night Matt Kemp got his first start since July 21. He made the most of it, going 4 for 4 with two doubles, three RBI and a run scored and patrolled center without incident.

Kinda came out of nowhere given that his only plate appearance on Monday was a pinch hit strikeout and given that he had hit a mere.262/.317/.380 in 63 games before yesterday’s action. But if he’s back to full strength and abilities, he’ll definitely give the Dodgers a boost heading into the playoffs.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
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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.