Blue Jays lefty Francisco Liriano was cleared to return home to Toronto with his team after being struck by Carlos Gomez’s eighth-inning line drive in Game 2 of the ALDS Friday, as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet and others have noted. The ball hit Liriano in the back of the head as he turned away, and it caromed into right center field. “I know what he’s going through right now, hoping for the best for the results,” says fellow Jays hurler J.A. Happ, who fractured his skull after taking a line drive to the head in 2013. “[B]ut yeah, that was scary.” Here’s more from the American League.
- The Tigers have announced that hitting coach Wally Joyner will not return in 2017, as he intends to pursue “other interests in the game of baseball.” Assistant hitting coach David Newhan’s role with the team will be determined once the team finds a replacement for Joyner. Other key Tigers coaches (including pitching coach Rich Dubee, bench coach Gene Lamont, first base coach Omar Vizquel, third base coach Dave Clark, bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer and defensive coordinator Matt Martin) will return. The Tigers exercised manager Brad Ausmus’ 2017 option earlier this week. Under Joyner and Newhan, the Tigers had one of MLB’s better offenses in 2016, batting .267/.331/.438, although it should perhaps be noted that having Miguel Cabrera in the middle of their lineup gave them a hefty head start.
- Orioles pitching coach Dave Wallace, who retired from his full-time role earlier this week, will be missed, Rich Dubroff of CSNmidatlantic.com writes. Wallace had no connections with Buck Showalter or Dan Duquette when the Orioles hired him three years ago, but his hiring turned out to be a boon for Orioles pitchers like Chris Tillman, Wei-Yin Chen and Brad Brach, along with younger hurlers like Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy. Perhaps the best orange and black feather in Wallace’s cap is that of Zach Britton, who transformed from a struggling (and out-of-options) starter to a dominant closer soon after Wallace arrived.