Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias has been diagnosed with stress fractures in both legs and the team announced today that he’s expected to miss a minimum of 4-6 months, putting his entire season in jeopardy.
Iglesias was initially diagnosed with stress reactions, but Cash Kruth of MLB.com reports that further examination discovered fractures and significantly increased his recovery timetable.
Iglesias was slated to be Detroit’s starting shortstop this season after the Tigers acquired him from the Red Sox in the middle of last year to replace the suspended Jhonny Peralta. Peralta has since left as a free agent, signing with the Cardinals, and the slick-fielding, weak-hitting Iglesias looked ready to take over as the long-term starter.
Rookie manager Brad Ausmus has said that defense will be the priority in finding a replacement shortstop and speculation that the Tigers could make a late run at free agent Stephen Drew appears to have little behind it.
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.