Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego reports that Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy won’t make Monday’s scheduled start against the Braves due to left oblique soreness. Jason Lane will start in his place opposite Ervin Santana at Turner Field. Kennedy isn’t expected to need a stint on the disabled list.
Kennedy, who has drawn a bit of trade interest from contending teams, has a 3.66 ERA with a 143/42 K/BB ratio in 135 1/3 innings this season. The 29-year-old is earning $6.1 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for the third and final time after the season.
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.