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Kyle Crick injured in clubhouse fight with Felipe Vázquez

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Pirates relievers Kyle Crick and Felipe Vázquez were involved in a clubhouse altercation prior to Monday night’s game against the Giants. In a statement released on Tuesday, the Pirates announced that Crick suffered an injury to the index finger on his pitching hand and underwent extensor tendon repair surgery. He is expected to be healthy ahead of spring training next year. Both Crick and Vázquez have been issued undisclosed fines by the team.

GM Neal Huntington said, “The behavior exhibited by these two players last night is unacceptable, inconsistent with the standards expected of a Major League player and will not be tolerated by the organization.”

Last month, The Athletic’s Rob Biertempfel published a report on the Pirates, detailing yearlong clubhouse turmoil, including a fight in July between coaches, Crick, and teammate and fellow reliever Keone Kela. The two hurlers were suspended, but the Pirates were mum on the details at the time. Add another fight to the list.

The Pirates entered Tuesday’s action in the NL Central cellar at 63-81. It’s been a long, disappointing, frustrating season. It is the kind of season that might cost manager Clint Hurdle and his coaching staff their jobs. Huntington may also be on the hot seat.

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.