PITTSBURGH – Francisco Liriano was bumped from his start today, due to hamstring discomfort. Pirates’ Head Athletic Trainer Todd Tomczyk said that Liriano felt it during the latter half of his side session the other day. Clint Hurdle knew about the injury before yesterday’s game, which impacted his bullpen usage, knowing that the team would be short a pitcher today. The Pirates ended up calling up A.J. Schugel to help with the shortage.
Liriano will play catch off flat ground today, and is day-to-day right now, according to Tomczyk.
**Jung-ho Kang is now cleared to play in a game, with no restrictions on his running. He slid on the mat down in Bradenton, which is a sliding drill that everyone participates in right before they’re ready for game duty. Kang played five innings today, and will play five tomorrow. Tomczyk is still sticking to his same timeframe for his return. No word on how the Pirates will handle his rehab assignments.
**Elias Diaz has been down with right lateral elbow discomfort. He worked to a point where he could play catch on flat ground, but had continued discomfort, and the Pirates shut him down. They have sought multiple opinions, and are working through them, according to Tomczyk. He wouldn’t comment on whether one of the opinions came from Dr. James Andrews, but did have the following response to Tommy John being a possibility:
“Everything is still ongoing, but the doctors are focusing on the lateral elbow.”
Tomczyk said that it’s still up in the air for treatment, whether Diaz would need surgery or just rehab.
**Jared Hughes pitched a live BP/sim game today at Pirate City. He will be evaluated after they see how he feels tomorrow.
**Jameson Taillon will make his first official start tonight since September 2013. Tomczyk, on whether there is an innings limit this year: “We’re going to treat him like any other pitcher. We will monitor his recovery on a daily basis and see if an innings threshold needs to be done, or doesn’t need to be done.”
**Trevor Williams is currently playing catch on flat ground, and is day-to-day. He left his first start of the year with shoulder discomfort, but told Ryan Palencer that it’s not structural.