Pirates Announce that Francisco Liriano and Melky Cabrera Will Make Opening Day Roster

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Saturday morning that left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano and outfielder Melky Cabrera will both be added to the 40-man roster and they will make the Opening Day roster.

The Pirates currently have a full 40-man roster, though that includes reliever Edgar Santana, who will miss the entire season due to Tommy John surgery. Placing him on the 60-day injured list will open one spot. They must make a decision on the other spot before adding both Liriano and Cabrera. That decision isn’t due today, but we could still hear it later today.

Cabrera was signed on a minor league deal just before Spring Training opened, but he was likely to make the 25-man roster due to his experience and success in the past. He at least needed to show that he could play up to previous standards and he has had a solid spring so far, posting a .310/.341/.381 slash line in 15 games. The 34-year-old Cabrera hit .280/.335/.420 in 78 games with the Cleveland Indians last year. Due to below average defense, he had a 0.0 WAR in 2018.

Liriano will be a lefty out of the bullpen this year. He didn’t have the best spring, but just like Cabrera, his success in the past (some of which came with the Pirates) gave him an advantage in his battle for a spot. He posted a 4.66 ERA and a 1.66 WHIP, with an 8:9 SO/BB ratio in 9.2 innings. The 35-year-old Liriano had a 4.58 ERA, a 110:73 SO/BB ratio and a 1.50 WHIP over 133.2 innings with the Detroit Tigers last year.

The Pirates still have 36 players on their active spring roster, so there are still more decisions to be made ahead of the season opener on Thursday.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

Support Pirates Prospects

Related articles

join the discussion

Pirates Prospects Daily



Latest articles

Latest comments