Francisco Liriano Activated, Matt Hague Optioned Back to Indianapolis

Starter Francisco Liriano has been activated from the disabled list to start today’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned Matt Hague back to Indianapolis.

Liriano started on rehab with Indianapolis on Monday and pitched brilliantly. He threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks and he struck out eight batters. Ryan Palencer covered the start and had quotes from Liriano afterwards. That can be found here. Vance Worley was moved from the rotation to the bullpen to make room for Liriano.

Matt Hague got into three games for the Pirates, his first action with the team since 2012. He went 0-for-2 at the plate.

  • The Pirates pitching staff is a train wreck….
    with the exception of Morton, Melancon, and Watson, the rest of the staff has been mediocre to awful – and that includes Cole. Even Volquez, who has been very good for the past 4-5 starts, has also had some very bad outings. He just now got his ERA down to the 3.50 range.

    We have anywhere from 4-5 pitchers who are not deserving of pitching on this staff – and are hurting the team more than helping it. Liriano, Wilson, Frieri, Pimentel, and you can include Worley in that group now that he has come back to Earth. each performance. And Gomez is not exactly a stopper.

    The problem is we’re pretty much married to most of these guys – sink or swim. I would replace Frieri with Mazzaro now – and I would also consider bringing up Oliver, to replace Worley or Pimentel – regardless if they options or not. I’d keep Wilson only because he if a lefty, and he seems to have too much talent to not turn it around.

    Because of the condition of the pitching staff in general, as well as the abysmal first base situation, this team is in very flawed. As should have bee expected with a very young player, Polanco is now really struggling and we don’t have competent platoon partner for him.

    Very disappointing road trip through St Louis and Cincy – 2-5, when we should have gone 4-3 or 5-2.

    • CalipariFan506
      July 13, 2014 11:57 pm

      Hopefully the time off refreshes the bullpen a little bit.

      But the Pirates are stuck in a sense that the guys with option (Hughes and Wilson) really shouldn’t be candidates to be demoted. Guys with value aren’t performing like Pimentel, Worley and Frieri and have crippled the bullpen.

      Oliver and Obispo are ready to be promoted but what do they do with them?

      The big thing to me is that NH and Hurdle must get on the same page with the bullpen. I’d DFA Frieri and bring up Obispo. I’d consider trying to trade Worley for something minor and bring up Oliver.

  • Anyone else have thoughts on what the Pirates roster will look like after the break?

    Also, I know Tabata was hurt at Indy but not on the DL.
    Have not seen him in the box score for over a week.
    Any ideas what is going on?

    Always been kind of a Hague fan, but anyone else think he just looked like
    he was not ready for prime time this time he was called up or is it too
    small a sample? (Anyone looking at a Chapman 103 mph pitch is not
    going to be ready.)

  • For all the talk about what a “good” Liriano could do on his return, let’s remember that this year’s team is 7-7 in starts by the “bad” Liriano. So I’m not seeing “good” Frankie going much better than 8-6 in his final 14 starts (which is what the team did in his final 14 starts of 2013).

    FWIW, team record by starter:
    Cole: 9-5
    Locke: 5-3
    Volquez: 10-9
    Liriano: 7-7
    Morton: 9-10
    Worley: 2-3

    This is a completely unscientific way of projecting future success, but looking at those records we can project to a 36-32 record for balance of the year, or 85 wins. So if Frankie can squeeze out 8-6, that’s 87 wins. The key is the BP. If they can manage to only blow 5 or 6 instead of 10+ games in 2nd half, Bucs could easily be looking at 90+ wins if all else stays the same.

  • I am hoping that by next Friday the Pirates will have made a trade or two and adjusted the roster. Hurdle has already announced that Liriano will pitch in the NO.1 spot after the all-star break.

  • CalipariFan506
    July 13, 2014 11:05 am

    So Decker will go down whenever Marte is activated Friday.

    The next move will be on July 22nd for the 5th starter. I don’t think this will happen, but I’d like to see Kingham called up and Frieri DFA’d. In reality he has ZERO value as he is arbitration elible for something over $4M. He’s going to be non tendered anyways.

    • I think Worley makes the spot start on July 22, and if another is needed sometime around August 1 (if Cole is not ready to go). It’s just ingrained in the FO’s DNA to keep all options open as long as possible, and I think they want to give Frieri at least a little bit longer for the work he’s put in with Searage to signal a turnaround.

      If he does manage to fix his delivery, arbitration might be kinder to the Pirates. Frieri has dug himself a pretty deep hole stats-wise and won’t be getting many save opportunities, so the comps are going to limit his upside. He gets a nice head start with his 2014 salary, but comps play a huge role in determining what raise, if any, he gets. I’m sure this was part of the consideration NH had when he made the acquisition.

      The 2012-era Frieri would be a bargain at 4 million, if Searage can get him back to that form. Short of that, I’m with you, he gets non-tendered.