Update (8:56 PM EST): X-rays taken on Phillips’ left ring finger were negative, per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon.
Facing Noah Syndergaard is bad enough. Facing him after fouling a ball off one’s foot is worse. Brandon Phillips had an even worse time in the fourth inning of Monday’s game against the Mets at Citi Field.
Phillips fouled two pitches off of his foot, putting him in some considerable pain, which one could see on the broadcast. Then he was hit on the hand with a 98 MPH Syndergaard fastball. Phillips wound up on his hands and knees in pain. It was no surprise when Phillips exited the game.
Ivan De Jesus, Jr. pinch-ran for Phillips at first base. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch, but was stranded as Syndergaard struck out Adam Duvall and Scott Schebler to end the inning. De Jesus stayed in the game at second base.
We’ll update you when more information is known about Phillips’ injury.
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.