Francisco Liriano was the ace of the staff last year, and projects to be the ace again this year.

Francisco Liriano Leaves as a Precaution With Groin Tightness

Francisco Liriano came out to the mound for the sixth inning tonight against the Orioles, after throwing five scoreless frames. Then, with two outs in the sixth inning, Liriano looked like he landed funny on his leg, leading to a trip to the mound from Russell Martin, Clint Hurdle, and a trainer. Liriano left the game, walking off with no assistance. After his outing he said that everything was fine, and that he only left as a precaution.

“I just feel tight in my groin,” Liriano said. “I didn’t want to keep pitching like that. I think I’m going to be okay. Just see how I feel tomorrow and go from there.”

Liriano noted that the groin was a little tight the whole game, but that it didn’t get worse at all. He said he didn’t want to push it, since his main focus was getting ready for Opening Day. He was wearing an ice pack around his leg in the locker room after his outing. The left-hander will be starting on Opening Day, giving him one more Spring Training start before that date.

“I wasn’t working on anything today,” Liriano said. “Just going out there to pitch and get myself ready for Opening Day, and get in a rhythm with Russell. Just getting ready.”

After the game, Clint Hurdle said that Liriano didn’t look the same on the last two pitches he threw.

“He said he was a little tight,” Hurdle said, talking about how Liriano felt throughout the game. “We always talk to him and have communication. The last two pitches he threw just didn’t look the same.”

Before the injury, Hurdle said he liked what he saw from Liriano.

“I think he got in a real nice groove,” Hurdle said. “Really settled in, in the third inning. I think he tried working his fastball. Got a much better feel for the command of the fastball. And then his breaking ball and his changeup really came into play, third inning on. Real efficient.”

The one downside to Liriano’s groin tightness — assuming it’s only minor and won’t impact him going forward — is that he was scheduled to throw more pitches. Liriano said he was scheduled to go 85 pitches tonight. However, Hurdle said the team likes to get their starters up to 100 pitches in the start before their last start of the Spring. He said that Liriano was going to pitch more than what he finished up with, which was 76 pitches.

“We’re going to be in a different scenario now as far as he goes,” Hurdle said. “Usually the one before the first season start we go back down a little bit.”

No word yet on how they will proceed differently with Liriano yet, since Hurdle wanted to see how Liriano was feeling tomorrow before making any projections.

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Tim Williams

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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  • Monsoon Harvard

    Would hate lose Liriano to the DL…however, groin injuries to pitchers must be treated with the utmost caution. They have enough back-up options fortunately in case he does need to be shut down for a few weeks. Hope he’s feeling better today, we’ll see.

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