Left-handed reliever Keith Hessler, who has had big-league time with the D-Backs and Padres, has signed a minor-league contract, according to the independent Atlantic League. Hessler finished up his 2017 season pitching for the Atlantic League Somerset Patriots, where he struck out 13 batters in 13 1/3 innings over 13 regular-season appearances. He also struck out three batters in two shutout innings during the Atlantic League playoffs.
Hessler, who turns 29 on March 15, was a 28th-round draft choice of the D-Backs out of Coastal Carolina in 2010. He began the 2017 season with the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas in the Padres organization. The Hessler struck out 36 batters in 45.1 innings over 41 appearances with the team.
Meanwhile, former Rockies player Nelson Liriano will return to the Royals organization for his 17th season. Liriano will be the hitting coach at rookie level Burlington, N.C. Liriano also was the hitting coach at Burling in 2014, and managed the affiliate from 2009-11. Liriano spent the last three seasons as the hitting coach for the Royals Arizona Summer League short-season affiliate in Surprise, Az.
Liriano played for the Rockies in their first two seasons of existence, 1993-94, and then finished his career by appearing in 12 games with the Rockies in 1998.