Good news here from MLB.com’s Greg Johns.
Mariners skipper Lloyd McClendon told reporters on Wednesday night that ace Felix Hernandez will be able to take his next turn in Seattle’s starting rotation this Saturday against the Rangers. Hernandez had to leave his outing last Sunday against the A’s after experiencing tightness in his right quad, but he has passed all of the necessary tests this week.
King Felix, 29, owns a 3.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, and 11/3 K/BB ratio in 12 innings (two starts) this season.
He registered a 2.14 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, and 248/46 K/BB ratio across 236 innings last 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.