Pirates notebook: Liriano placed on disabled list, Pimentel activated
Francisco Liriano became the third player and second member of the Pirates' starting rotation to go on the 15-day disabled list in the past week, his left oblique strain landing him in the company of Gerrit Cole (right shoulder fatigue) and Neil Walker (appendectomy) on Wednesday.
The Pirates have not decided on a starting pitcher for Sunday's game in Miami. Casey Sadler could be an option, manager Clint Hurdle said. So could Stolmy Pimentel, whom the Pirates recalled from his rehab assignment (right shoulder inflammation) to help in the bullpen on Wednesday.
“He was expected to go four (innings) and 65 (pitches) (Wednesday with Triple-A Indianapolis), which would have put him in a position to somewhere, possibly, make another start,” Hurdle said of Pimentel, who made a career-high 27 starts last season between Double-A Altoona and Indianapolis. “We pulled him back based on the usage of the bullpen (Tuesday) to have another arm.
“He'll have a volume of pitches where his name, I imagine, will be in. We'll revisit with our Triple-A staff on guys that are there as well that could make that start.”
Liriano threw a pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday's loss to the Cubs and felt a pinch. Prior to that, catcher Russell Martin said, Liriano — and his fastball command in particular — looked good.
“It's definitely unfortunate,” Martin said. “He was throwing his fastball both sides of the plate. They weren't getting good swings on it and then one pitch and he's out for a couple weeks. It stinks, but you've just got to deal with it.”
Josh Harrison left Wednesday's game in the third inning with what the Pirates said was discomfort in his left ankle. He was replaced by Clint Barmes. Harrison started the game at second base in place of Neil Walker, who is on the DL.
Hurdle to coach NL All-Stars
National League All-Star manager Mike Matheny announced his coaching staff for the July 15 game, and Hurdle's name was included along with Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves. Hurdle also was a member of Jack McKeon's staff at the 2004 All-Star Game in Houston and managed in 2008 following the Colorado Rockies' World Series appearance the previous season.
“It's a humbling opportunity,” Hurdle said. “(Matheny) and I have developed a professional respect over the two seasons, and we've developed a personal relationship as well. You never know when you get to go to your last one. I'd like to manage one more.”
Joining Hurdle on the staff will be Pirates assistant athletic trainer Ben Potenziano.
Root gets boost from Polanco's first game
Tuesday's Pirates game gave Root a 9.38 rating — about 293,000 viewers. It was Root's second-highest rated game this season, likely because of Gregory Polanco's debut.
Cole threw from 90 feet Tuesday and Wednesday and is planning to throw a bullpen session off the mound Friday, Hurdle said. ... Hurdle said Polanco will continue to get early work in right field to get used to some of the anglesat PNC Park. ... The Pirates signed five draft picks: fifth-round pick Michael Suchy, an outfielder from Florida Gulf Coast; sixth-rounder Tyler Eppler, a right-hander from Sam Houston State; 10th-round pick Alex McRae, a right-hander from Jacksonville; 12th-round pick Tyler Filliben, an infielder from Samford; and 15th-round pick Eric Dorsch, a North Allegheny grad from Gibsonia who was a right-hander at Kent State. They will begin their careers at short-season Single-A Jamestown.