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Dbacks position players outpitched Dbacks pitchers by a whole lot last night

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The Rockies beat the living tar out of the Arizona Diamondbacks last night. They were up 19-1 by the end of the fifth inning, in fact, and everyone should’ve probably just agreed to go home early and catch up on the shows they have on their DVRs and stuff. But they played on, because that’s what ballplayers do.

As is so often the case in blowouts, eventually a position player was deployed to pitch. In this case, though, it wasn’t just one position player and it wasn’t just for a final inning. The Dbacks used two position players — Daniel Descalso and Alex Avila — and they pitched for more than half the dang game.

Really: the Snakes’ real pitchers gave up 16 runs in four and a third innings while Descalso and Avila gave up 3 runs in four and two-thirds innings. All of those runs were charged to Descalso, by the way, who allowed two homers. He still did better than real pitcher Jorge De La Rosa, however, who gave up four more runs in one inning less of work.

Avila, though, was pretty spiffy. He faced seven batters over two innings and retired six of them, allowing only one hit, in the form of a leadoff single to Ian Desmond just after coming into the game. He stranded Desmond, though, getting the next three batters to fly out and line out. He came back for the eighth inning and retired the side in order once again.

I suspect that, at that point in the game, the Rockies hitters were not exactly going up with an intention to do serious damage, but I don’t think big leaguers quit either, so we should give some credit to Avila for his surprisingly outstanding performance. Even if it came at the end of a shockingly terrible night for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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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.