Mike Trout turned 24 yesterday. Which is sort of insane when you think about it. He was 11 when the Angels won their World Series and the same manager is still at the helm. I’d insert the list of “other guys who have done what Mike Trout has done by age 24 in baseball history” right here but you know how that looks by now. It’s basically Trout and a small handful of Hall of Famers.
The more fun thing about his birthday is that he hit a home run. A no-doubter out to left off of a high-90s fastball from Orioles starter Kevin Gausman. It was his 33rd on the season, which leads baseball.
It was also his third birthday home run, as he did it on August 7 in 2012 and 2013 as well. His 12.5% homer-on-your-birthday rate is probably a record. And I’ll give in here and link you to an article of where Trout stacks up against other 24-year-olds.
The only person who really challenges him for greatness-by-age-24 is James Dean, I figure. Here’s hoping Trout’s 25th year on the planet goes better than Dean’s did.
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.