Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports some bad news for Rangers fans on Twitter: lefty starter Derek Holland injured his left knee in a fall at home and earlier today underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair torn cartilage. Fraley adds that Holland is likely out until mid-season.
Fraley spoke to GM Jon Daniels, who said the Holland injury won’t pressure the organization to make a move for a “big ticket” pitcher such as Japanese star Masahiro Tanaka. The Rangers will likely fill the void with an in-house option such as Robbie Ross.
Holland, 27, was a big part of the Rangers’ plans in 2014 considering his career year last season. He finished with a 3.42 ERA in 213 innings as well as a 21 percent strikeout rate and 7 percent walk rate.
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.