Josh Hamilton’s teammates not happy with Jerry DiPoto’s statement

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Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton received good news on Friday, learning that he would not be disciplined for a recent drug relapse. That prompted Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto to release this statement:

The Angels have serious concerns about Josh’s conduct, health and behavior and we are disappointed that he has broken an important commitment which he made to himself, his family, his teammates and our fans. We are going to do everything possible to assure he receives proper help for himself and for the well-being of his family.

As Pedro Moura of the Orange County Register reports, Hamilton’s teammates weren’t pleased with Dipoto’s comment. However, starter C.J. Wilson was the only one willing to go on record with anything resembling criticism. Wilson said Dipoto’s statement was “kind of disheartening.” He clarified, saying, “The statement had multiple phases. I’m just going to focus on the last part of it, which was, ‘We are focused on Josh and his family.’ That’s the part that I agree with.”

As Moura notes, Wilson, Hector Santiago, and Huston Street have been public supporters of Hamilton’s. Despite the lack of discipline, Hamilton still won’t join the Angels for the start of the regular season as he’s currently rehabbing his right shoulder after undergoing surgery in February.

Phillies sign Francisco Liriano and Neil Walker to minor league deals

Francisco Liriano
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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.