Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado has opened up September with a power surge. The 24-year-old entered Saturday’s game against the Giants with home runs in five consecutive games. He made it six with a two-run home run off of Jake Peavy in the sixth inning.
Arenado is the only Rockie to homer in six consecutive games. Dante Bichette (1995) and Larry Walker (1999) homered in five consecutive games.
Arenado has turned in a terrific season, batting .288/.324/.581 with 36 home runs and 105 RBI while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense at the hot corner. His 36 homers ties him with Josh Donaldson and teammate Carlos Gonzalez for third-best in baseball. No National Leaguer has homered more than the Rockies’ duo.
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.