Indians catcher/third baseman Carlos Santana is back from the seven-day concussion disabled list after missing a total of 10 days due to a foul tip to the mask.
Santana also had a concussion in 2012, so no doubt the Indians will monitor his status very closely and may opt against using him any more at catcher for a while.
He was struggling mightily even before the brain injury, hitting just .159 with 46 strikeouts in 50 games, although Santana did display his usual excellent plate discipline with 43 walks. Santana has started 26 games at third base, plus 10 games at catcher, 10 games at designated hitter, and four games at first base.
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.