Sean Marshall has been limited to just 31 appearances in the majors since 2013 due to shoulder issues and now the southpaw needs season-ending surgery to repair a torn anterior capsule. Surgery is scheduled for Wednesday and will be performed by Dr. David Altheck.
Marshall, 32, made 15 appearances last season before undergoing surgery in June to repair a torn labrum. The hope was that he would be ready to contribute this season, but he had a setback with his throwing program early on during spring training. Shoulders are tricky and rehabbing from capsule surgery is a rough road, so his future is very much in question.
Marshall struggled as a starter early on in his career with the Cubs, but he soon emerged as one of the game’s best relievers, posting a 2.44 ERA with 10.3 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 in 247 appearances from 2010-2013. The Reds committed $16.5 million to him from 2013-2015, which looked like a reasonable deal at the time, but his situation is a reminder that giving a lucrative multi-year contract to a reliever is risky business.
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.