Center fielder Jon Jay is slated to come off the disabled list and rejoin the Cardinals on Friday, according to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com.
Jay has been out since May 10 with a wrist injury and hit poorly before going on the DL, so it’s unclear what type of role he’ll have upon returning.
Peter Bourjos has played well as the Cardinals’ primary center fielder and there’s already a bit of an outfield logjam with rookie Randal Grichuk trying to wrestle playing time away from Bourjos and fellow veterans Matt Holliday and Jason Heyward.
It would sure make things a lot easier if one of the outfielders was willing to and/or capable of playing first base in the absence of Matt Adams, but for now at least that’s Mark Reynolds’ job.
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.