First Pitch

First Pitch: Pirates Showing a Lot of Confidence in Liriano

First Pitch: Pirates Showing a Lot of Confidence in Liriano

Francisco Liriano has been the second best home pitcher in baseball this year. (Photo Credit: David Hague)

The Pittsburgh Pirates had a chance to load up on plenty of relievers for the one game Wild Card matchup. Instead, they went the opposite route. Based on comments by Clint Hurdle today, the team will carry 16 position players and nine pitchers. The pitchers include Liriano, Gerrit Cole, and the seven regular relievers from the 2013 season.

With the exception of Cole, the Pirates are managing this game just like any other game, from a pitching standpoint. Even with Cole, it's the same, since a starter from a different day could come in and pitch in extra innings during the regular season. This is putting a lot of confidence in Liriano. There's not much of a backup plan if he struggles. Gerrit Cole could step in, but that leaves the Pirates in trouble if the game goes deep into extra innings. These two teams play a lot of close games, so a guy who could pitch in extras is impo...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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