Jeff Fletcher of the Southern California News Group reports that Angels reliever Blake Wood will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Additionally, starter Matt Shoemaker had surgery on his right forearm — specifically, nerve decompression and pronator teres tendon repair.
Wood, 32, was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament last week and sought further opinions in an effort to avoid Tommy John surgery. In 11 2/3 innings out of the bullpen this season, the right-hander compiled a 2.31 ERA with 10 strikeouts and seven walks.
Shoemaker, 31, hasn’t pitched since the third game of the regular season back on March 31. He’s been on the disabled list since early April with what was called a forearm strain. Shoemaker underwent an MRI last week that showed a mild edema — swelling caused by excess fluid trapped in tissue — in his right forearm.
Wood will miss the rest of the 2018 season and will likely miss a large portion or all of the 2019 season as well. There is currently no timetable for Shoemaker’s recovery.
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.