We expected it to happen eventually, and it finally did in Game 3 of the World Series. In getting the final two outs of the bottom of the seventh inning, Royals reliever Brandon Finnegan became the first player to play in two World Series in one year: College and Major League.
The Royals took the 21-year-old lefty in the first round of this year’s draft, 17th overall, out of Texas Christian University. TCU advanced to the second round of the College World Series, but lost 3-2 to Virginia, who wound up advancing to the finals.
Finnegan pitched 15 innings with Single-A Wilmington before advancing to Double-A Northwest Arkansas with which he tossed 12 innings. He made his major league debut on September 7, finishing out the month allowing one run over seven innings. In the post-season, the lefty has allowed two runs in five innings on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts.
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.