Liriano reinstated, set to make Pirates debut

Francisco Liriano is officially on the Pirates’ active roster and will be starting on Saturday afternoon in New York.

Liriano, 29, agreed to a deal in December, but lost a lot of money by freakishly injuring his arm. A new contract was agreed upon, and he’ll only be making $1 million this season.

Here are the career numbers for the left-handed Liriano:

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP BB/9 SO/9
2005 21 MIN 1 2 5.70 6 4 23.2 19 15 15 4 7 33 1.099 2.7 12.5
2006 22 MIN 12 3 2.16 28 16 121.0 89 31 29 9 32 144 1.000 2.4 10.7
2008 24 MIN 6 4 3.91 14 14 76.0 74 40 33 7 32 67 1.395 3.8 7.9
2009 25 MIN 5 13 5.80 29 24 136.2 147 93 88 21 65 122 1.551 4.3 8.0
2010 26 MIN 14 10 3.62 31 31 191.2 184 77 77 9 58 201 1.263 2.7 9.4
2011 27 MIN 9 10 5.09 26 24 134.1 125 81 76 14 75 112 1.489 5.0 7.5
2012 28 MIN 3 10 5.31 22 17 100.0 89 63 59 12 55 109 1.440 5.0 9.8
2012 28 CHW 3 2 5.40 12 11 56.2 54 34 34 7 32 58 1.518 5.1 9.2
7 Yrs 53 54 4.40 168 141 840.0 781 434 411 83 356 846 1.354 3.8 9.1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 5/11/2013.

His numbers haven’t been good for a few years, although there’s some hope that he can succeed in the National League.

Here’s a scouting report from Pirates Prospects, which was written before the Bucs faced him at PNC Park in June of 2012:

[quote_box author=”” profession=””]“Liriano underwent Tommy John surgery late in 2006 and has battled inconsistent velocity ever since. That velocity is back up this season, after additional arm injuries hindered him in 2011… His four-seamer is pretty hittable, but his two-seamer shows good arm-side movement and has missed a ton of bats so far this year. Liriano’s nasty mid 80′s slider is his best strikeout pitch, with an elite whiff rate of about 42% in 2012. His mid 80′s changeup is also very difficult to put in play, giving him three legitimate strikeout pitches… Unfortunately for Liriano, his control has deserted him over the past two years. Since the beginning of 2011, Liriano’s 13.1% walk rate is the second highest among pitchers with at least 150 innings.”[/quote_box]

To make room for Liriano, the Pirates have sent Duke Welker back to Indianapolis. He was recalled on Wednesday, but did not see any game action. His Major League debut will have to wait.

Pirates Depth Chart | Bullpen Workload

Photo: Keith Allison/Creative Commons

Francisco Liriano Finally a Pirate

After a long, dragged out process, left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano is finally a Pirate.

Ken Rosenthal delivers the news:

Pirates.com writer Tom Singer once hinted at the possibility of a minor league contract, but Bill Brink of the Post-Gazette makes it sound like that will not be the case:

Brink also added this…

…which makes it sound like Liriano’s arm injury is rather serious. We probably won’t see Liriano for a while.

Some highlights from when he shut down the Bucs in June:

UPDATE:

Liriano lost some serious cash by injuring his right arm:

Only $1 million is guaranteed, but he can earn up to $4.75 million, per Brink:

After that, he can earn $5 mil, $6 mil, or $8 mil in his 2014 vesting option, which depends on DL time as well.

To make room for Liriano, Vin Mazzaro has been outrighted to Triple-A. Our depth chart can be viewed HERE.

Bucs Bits: Pirates News and Notes 1/23/13

A few Bucco links on this frigid Wednesday…

Francisco Liriano‘s right arm injury is a broken humerus, writes Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It sounds like there is a good chance he will miss the beginning of the season.

– With the addition of Liriano, the Pirates enter spring training with plenty of pitching depth.

Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon made an appearance on MLB.com’s Top 10 right-handed pitching prospects list. Cole ranks 5th, and Taillon is right behind him at 6th.

- Starling Marte was named the Most Valuable Player in the Dominican Winter League finals. He went 11-21 over the course of the series, picking up at least two hits in each contest.

– John Dreker of Pirates Prospects takes a look at the pitchers that Marte was hitting against.

– Also at Pirates Prospects, Tim Williams examines where the numerous corner outfielders and first basemen fit into the Pirates’ plan.

Jerry Sands, who is one of those corner outfielders/first basemen, has been giving hitting lessons to youth baseball players in Wendell, NC.

Only 20 days until pitchers & catchers report; 68 days until Opening Day.

Go Bucs

Photo: RJ Schmidt/Creative Commons

2012 Pirates & The Case of Few Hits

Throughout the course of a Major League Baseball season, there are bound to be plenty of spectacular pitching performances. Sometimes the pitcher rises to the occasion; sometimes the offense is just dreadful. Both instances were far too common for the 2012 Pirates. Here’s a look at ten different occasions where the Bucs recorded three hits or less…

1. March 18th, 2012
Final: Twins 10, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: One

The Bucs’ hitting woes started way back in spring training. Francisco Liriano (ironically enough) led the way with five no-hit innings. A few other pitchers got in on the action, but Liriano did the most damage. Brandon Boggs had the lone hit.

2. April 5th, 2012
Final: Phillies 1, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: Two

They started the season off on a lousy note, wasting Erik Bedard‘s solid debut on Opening Day. The Pirates were shut down by 2010 Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay. The afternoon got off to a promising start, as Alex Presley and Jose Tabata notched back-to-back hits in the bottom of the first. But they couldn’t get anything else going, and not a single hit was recorded the rest of the game.

3. April 13th, 2012
Final: Giants 5, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: One

Friday the 13th was capped by an abysmal performance in San Francisco. James McDonald – yes, the pitcher – was the only Pirate to find the hit column. Matt Cain dominated with 11 strikeouts as he went the distance. Cain went on to pitch a perfect game against the Astros in June.

4. May 6th, 2012
Final: Reds 5, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: Three

The Pirates turned in a sloppy Sunday performance to drop the series against the Reds. Neil Walker, Nate McLouth, and Jose Tabata had singles in the 3rd, 4th, and 7th, respectively. The Bowling with the Bucs event was hosted after this rough game.

5. May 18th, 2012
Final: Tigers 6, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: One

Leading up to the weekend series in Detroit, one simple question was on the minds of Pirates fans: when does Verlander pitch? When it became known that the reigning American League Cy Young and MVP would be taking the hill on Friday night, tons of jokes and predictions were tossed around. The Bucs’ offense was so bad to that point in the season, it was almost guaranteed that Verlander would dominate. A collective sigh of relief was let out when he walked the second batter of the game, Neil Walker. No perfect game for you, Mr. Verlander. But the no-hitter was still on the table… and remained in tact for the remainder of the night. Verlander settled in and was virtually untouchable. He carried the no-no into the ninth, and retired Michael McKenry on a groundball. However, Josh Harrison came to the rescue for the Pirates and ended the no-hit bid after eight and one-third innings.

J-Hay instantly became Detroit’s most wanted. Clint Hurdle offered this bizarre quote after the game:

[quote_center]”I’ve wanted to be part of Tigers history since I was a little kid, and I almost was tonight”[/quote_center]

6. July 23rd, 2012
Final: Cubs 2, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: Two

The club went on a tear through June and July and put up quite a few stellar offensive performances. They broke down on July 23rd, however, as Notre Dame product Jeff Samardzija limited the Bucs to just two hits. They entered the night with a record of 54-40. From that game to the end of the season, they were just 25-43 – meltdown mode.

7. August 11th, 2012
Final: Padres 5, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: Two

San Diego absolutely embarrassed the Pirates on Friday and Saturday of the August series at PNC. James McDonald blew a huge lead in the series opener, and Jason Marquis almost no-hit the Bucs on Skyblast Saturday. Marquis alone had as many hits as the Buccos, going 2 for 4 on the night. Travis Snider led off the seventh with an infield hit to end Marquis’ run, and Pedro Alvarez knocked a long single an inning later.

8. September 18th, 2012
Final: Brewers 6, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: Three

A three-game, mid-September series against Milwaukee opened in horrendous fashion. Clint Barmes singled in the 2nd inning, and Neil Walker notched two singles later in the game. The Pirates couldn’t muster anything against Yovani Gallardo and the Brew Crew, as their record dropped to 74-73.

9. September 26th, 2012
Final: Mets 6, Pirates 0

Bucco Hits: Three

The Bucs didn’t show up in the Big Apple on September 26th, as Jeremy Hefner threw seven scoreless innings of three-hit ball. Starling Marte and Pedro Alvarez (twice) collected singles for Pittsburgh. The next day resulted in R.A. Dickey‘s 20th win of the year, and the following night was even worse…

10. September 28th, 2012
Final: Reds 1, Pirates 0
Bucco Hits: Zero

September 28th will go down in PNC Park history, as Homer Bailey no-hit the Pirates in front of 34,796 fans. The Collapse 2.0™ came to a big finish on the final weekend of the season. Bailey’s no-no handed the Pirates their 81st loss, which sealed the deal for a non-winning season.

It was a rough year at the plate for the Bucs, and these 10 games are a pretty good reminder of their troubles. A recurring theme you may have noticed is that the Pirates seemed to get blasted in these games. They lost seven of the games by five runs or more; the total score of all ten: Opponents 47, Pirates 0. Another pattern is that all 18 Bucco hits recorded in these ballgames were singles. Hopefully the Pirates avoid so many appalling losses in 2013.

Photo: Gene Puskar/AP Photo

Liriano is… injured?

At first, it was supposedly just the holiday season slowing up the Francisco Liriano signing. Now, Rob Biertempfel reports that it’s something much worse:

[tweet https://twitter.com/BiertempfelTrib/status/288739808388476928]

Apparently Liriano is injured and a deal is not close. It seemed near completion when they agreed to terms, but apparently it is now in jeopardy. There isn’t much information available so there isn’t a lot to say about the injury itself. However, Biertempfel reported that his right arm is hurt; Liriano throws with his left. If true, his throwing shouldn’t be affected.

This puts the Pirates in a tough spot, considering they have multiple rotation spots to fill. A.J. Burnett and Wandy Rodriguez are locked in; James McDonald is technically set for the rotation, despite his awful second half of 2012. Liriano could have been a nice left-handed addition, even if the price seemed a bit high. That salary should hopefully come down, depending on the severity of his injury. If the two sides can’t work out a reasonable deal, then the Bucs certainly have some work to do.