Because the injuries to the Yankees’ starting rotation apparently never stop, David Phelps exited last night’s game after two innings with what the team is calling right elbow inflammation.
After the game manager Joe Girardi revealed to Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York that Phelps has been dealing with elbow problems for “three or four weeks” already and recently underwent an MRI exam that came back clean. Despite that, Phelps posted a 2.97 ERA in five July starts.
Wallace writes that Phelps seems likely to miss at least one start and the fact that Girardi felt the need to say “I believe he’s going to pitch again” this season certainly suggests it could require a stint on the disabled list alongside fellow starters Masahiro Tanaka, CC Sabathia, Michael Pineda, and Ivan Nova.
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.