Some items as we head into the new week…
- Even prior to Francisco Liriano’s gem of a start against the Mariners today, the Tigers have been getting trade inquiries about the veteran lefty, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link). After signing a one-year, $4MM deal with Detroit last winter, Liriano earned a job in the rotation and now has a 3.42 ERA, 6.32 K/9, and 45.1% grounder rate through 52 2/3 innings. It’s a nice improvement on paper from the struggles Liriano endured as a starter in 2017 and much of 2016, though there are some red flags — the lack of strikeouts, a 9.7% swinging strike rate, a 4.44 BB/9, and a .214 BABIP. Interested teams could be looking at acquiring Liriano to work out of the bullpen, as the Astros did when they acquired the southpaw in a deadline trade with the Blue Jays last year. Regardless, it looks like the Tigers should be able to score a decent prospect for their investment in Liriano in the offseason.
- Victor Victor Mesa is “the best young Cuban prospect to become available since Yoan Moncada,” Baseball America’s Ben Badler writes in a profile of the 21-year-old outfielder that is available to BA subscribers. Badler assigns a 70 grade (on the 20-80 scouting scale) to Mesa’s speed and throwing arm (the latter meriting “at least a 70”), and compares Mesa to Nationals minor leaguer Victor Robles, a consensus top-10 prospect in baseball. Since Mesa and his brother only just left Cuba, however, they could face a long wait in getting official league clearance, which will limit their earning power in the 2018-19 July 2 international signing market since most teams have already committed the bulk of their spending pools to other prospects.
- Lonnie Chisenhall is slated to begin a rehab assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Monday, Indians manager Terry Francona told media (including Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer). Chisenhall will only play every other day initially, Francona said, as the outfielder slowly ramps up after missing over six weeks with a strained calf. It isn’t clear how long it will be before Chisenhall is ready to return to the Tribe’s roster, though the club is in dire need of some help in right and center field.