Jeremy Hellickson
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Jeremy Hellickson exits game with wrist injury

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Nationals starter Jeremy Hellickson was pulled from Saturday’s game against the Braves after sustaining an apparent wrist injury. He came up to bat in the top of the fourth inning and took a swing against the Braves’ Julio Teheran when he suddenly clenched his right wrist and walked off the field. The full extent of the injury is still unclear, but it was serious enough to prevent the right-hander from returning to the mound in the bottom half of the frame.

Prior to the incident, Hellickson pitched three full innings of one-run, one-strikeout ball, marking his first start in the majors after coming off of the disabled list with a right wrist sprain earlier this week. He owns a 5-3 record in 19 starts with a 3.45 ERA, 1.9 BB/9 and 6.4 SO/9 through 91 1/3 innings in 2018.

After walking back to the dugout, the righty was swiftly replaced in the lineup by pinch-hitter Andrew Stevenson, while fellow right-hander Jefry Rodriguez assumed his spot on the mound as Atlanta came up to bat in the bottom of the fourth. With Juan Soto‘s RBI single in the first inning (the cherry on top of his record-setting three steals) and Adam Eaton‘s RBI walk in the fourth, the Nationals currently lead the Braves 2-1 in the sixth.

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.