The Pittsburgh Pirates announced that Francisco Liriano will return to the team on Sunday to start the last game before the All-Star break against the Cincinnati Reds. Liriano threw six shutout innings on Monday down in AAA. He last started for the Pirates on June 10th, giving up two runs over three innings before leaving the game with an oblique injury.
This season, he has a 4.60 ERA in 72.1 innings over 14 starts. Liriano has 77 strikeouts and a 1.45 WHIP. He has a misleading 1-6 record this year, as the Pirates are 7-7 in his starts, though he obviously hasn’t pitched as well as last year.
With Liriano returning, Vance Worley will head on down to the bullpen. He has made five starts for the Pirates, posting a 3.03 ERA, with a 1.07 WHIP and a 5/21 BB/SO ratio in 32.2 innings.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.