Pirates notebook: Liriano could make weekend start vs. Reds
ST. LOUIS — Left-hander Francisco Liriano is ready to come off the disabled list and likely will start for the Pirates before the All-Star break.
Liriano, who's been out since June 11 because of a strained left oblique, tossed six scoreless innings Monday with Triple-A Indianapolis. Tuesday, he got the go-ahead to return during a meeting with manager Clint Hurdle and pitching coach Ray Searage.
“He got sharper (Monday) as the game went on,” Hurdle said. “He threw all his pitches. The fastball velocity was good, 91-95 mph. The changeup and breaking ball played.”
As of Tuesday afternoon, Hurdle hadn't yet mapped out when Liriano will next pitch. To ensure him enough rest, it would have to be either Saturday or Sunday against the Cincinnati Reds.
The Pirates will make a series of pitching-related roster moves in the next few days. Gerrit Cole will go on the DL and Brandon Cumpton is expected to come up from Indy to pitch Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Pirates also will have to make a corresponding move when Liriano is activated.
Injury frustrates Cole
Cole used the word “frustrating” four times in a span of about 90 seconds late Monday night as he talked about going on the DL with a sore right lat.
Cole is on the 15-day DL for the second time since June 4. It's an exasperating situation for the right-hander, who has rarely missed a start throughout his career, going back to high school.
“And now I can't seem to make one,” Cole said with a droll laugh. “Hopefully, this is the last hurdle I'll have (to) get over, and I can help us down the stretch in the second half. That's the goal.”
Cole had been scheduled to start Wednesday against the Cardinals but was scratched after his back muscle acted up during a bullpen session Monday afternoon.
“I had my heart set on this series,” Cole said. “I don't think you can ask for anything more, a four-game set in St. Louis after taking sole possession of second place. I was looking forward to pitching. But (Pirates management) was really convincing that we need to look at the bigger picture. I was kind of out of options.”
On Tuesday, Cole played some light catch on flat ground. Hurdle and Cole will huddle Wednesday to sketch out a return-to-pitch program.
“I'm not anticipating any shutdown,” Hurdle said. “There will be, down the road, a rehab start involved. We're not going to set a date (yet). We want to keep him in a position so, when he comes back, he can thrive, not survive. We want him to be able to go out and be the Gerrit Cole we've seen in the past.”
Cole did not make a rehab start during his previous stint on the DL.
Because Cole is in just his second season in the majors and hadn't been sidelined by an injury until now, Hurdle will keep tabs on how Cole handles this mentally.
“I can honor frustration. I want him to feel emotions he needs to feel,” Hurdle said. “But we're not dealing with some things other pitchers deal with. This isn't a Tommy John (surgery) or all those other things. This can be like when your car's ‘check engine' light comes on. You need to pay a little bit more attention to something. It's part of the learning experience.
“I told him we've got to get to the point where we turn our back on frustration. Our attitude is going to be huge working forward. So feel what you need to feel for as long as you need to feel it — but then there's a day when we need to get rid of that and go get ready for what's next.”
Hit, but no base
Russell Martin was hit by a pitch on the elbow in the first inning Monday. However, umpire Alan Porter ruled Martin did not try to move out of the way, so Martin was not awarded first base.
“That's the first one I've encountered,” Hurdle said. “It looked funny. My argument was, he's got two strikes, it's an extended at-bat, he's protecting the plate and a lot of things can happen when you put your foot down.”
Porter was within his rights to keep Martin at the plate, and the call was not reviewable. The 10-pitch at-bat ended when Martin flew out to left field.
Tuesday, Hurdle indicated the ump made the correct — albeit rarely used — call.
“I got some reports back that it might not have been as flagrant a call as it seemed from my eyes,” Hurdle said. “There might have been some substance to it.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates third baseman Ramirez’s last ride is about winning a ring
- Gameday: Pirates at Twins, July 28, 2015
- Pirates notebook: No sign of improvement for RHP Sadler
- Cole collects MLB-best 14th win as Pirates take series against Nationals
- Pirates notebook: Cervelli cherishes All-Star gift from teammate Burnett
- Pirates notebook: Third-base coach Sofield owns up to 9th-inning call
- Starting 9: Pirates help and the illusion of help
- Pirates pursuing trade offers for first baseman Alvarez
- Kang among Pirates’ best at extending at-bats
- Making splash at MLB trade deadline not always in buyers’ best interest
- Injured Pirates shortstop Mercer OK with Gomez’s slide