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Pirates sign Francisco Liriano

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Francisco Liriano to a minor league deal.

Liriano, who pitched for the Pirates from 2013-16, spent last season with the Tigers, where he posted a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 110/73 in 133.2 innings. He’s an innings eater at best now now, basically, and he hasn’t had a full season with a league average or better ERA+ since 2015.

There will be innings to eat in Pittsburgh, of course, so he stands a fairly decent shot of making the Pirates’ roster.

Clayton Kershaw shut down with “an arm kind of thing”

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Spring training is just underway but Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is already being shut down indefinitely.

Kershaw threw two bullpen sessions this week and, as the Los Angeles Times reports, he “didn’t feel right” afterward. Manager Dave Roberts said it was “arm kind of thing,” which, viva specificity. Roberts did allow that it might be so-called “dead arm” but it’s too soon to know. For now he’ll be working out as usual but not throwing.

Kershaw has had an increasing number of nagging injuries and ailments over the past several seasons, limiting him to 26 starts last year, 27 the year before and 21 in 2016. Whether this is something serious or not is unknown, but at least he’s experiencing it now instead of the middle of the season.