Jose Bautista says he “lost a lot of respect for [Ned Yost] today”

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The Blue Jays and Royals don’t seem to be very big fans of each other. Royals starter Edinson Volquez made a habit out of pitching inside to Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson, including when he hit him with a pitch in the third inning. That led to retaliation later in the game, and an eventual benches-clearing incident.

Royals reliever Ryan Madson pitched inside to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki and Donaldson in the seventh inning, which escalated matters before Blue Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez hit shortstop Alcides Escobar in the bottom half of the frame.

After the game, Royals manager Ned Yost stated that his pitchers weren’t throwing at batters intentionally, and went out of his way to praise home plate umpire Jim Wolf. Via John Lott of the National Post:

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista responded to Yost’s comments on Twitter, saying he “[l]ost a lot of respect for that man today.”

Jays starter R.A. Dickey, who pitched seven scoreless innings and earned a win on Sunday, likened the Royals to kids on a playground when a bigger kid shows up.

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.