Jun 22, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) pitches during the game against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

If Jeff Locke Deserves To Be An All-Star, Why Not Francisco Liriano?


Nobody can deny that Jeff Locke is having a spectacular year, whether or not he can sustain it, at this point, Locke is an all-star quality pitcher, and deserves a trip to New York this month for the mid-summer classic. Locke has posted an incredible 8-1 record, an ERA of 2.12, and a WHIP of 1.147 over 102 innings this year. He’s displayed great command of his pitches, seemingly having the ability to put his nasty two-seam fastball wherever he wants to. Locke has gotten a lot of attention, and deservedly so, but what about Francisco Liriano?

In 2013, Liriano is 7-3, with an ERA of 2.23, and a WHIP of 1.286 over 60.2 innings of work. The only things that would genuinely hurt Liriano’s case is the time that he missed to rehab after breaking his arm in the weirdest injury of 2013, and the relatively limited number of innings that he’s worked (averaging 6.02 innings per start).

Comparing some of Liriano’s slightly more peripheral numbers to Locke’s, his K/9 and BB/9 are better than those of Locke, with Liriano posting a K/9 of 9.9 compared to Locke’s 6.1, while Liriano gives up 3.4 BB/9, compared to Locke’s 3.9. Liriano has done all of this work while remaining relatively under the radar, and he deserves more credit for his work this year.

He’s been a highly valuable contributor to a pitching staff and a rotation full of highly valuable contributors, and should be credited for that. He might have a hard time gaining a spot in the mid-summer classic due to his lack of innings and the time he missed early, but he certainly deserves recognition for the stellar job he’s done in Pittsburgh this year. So, if you had to pick one between Jeff Locke and Francisco Liriano for the all-star game, who would it be?

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  • Rumble-Bumble Cat

    Wow. Just thinking back to the days of Ian Snell and Zach Duke and the fact you can even debate which starter is the all-star in 2013 says volumes about the rebuilding plan. I’d have to go with Locke just based on the fact he’s been pitching every time out but after today’s start it is really close. Can I just vote for Ray Searage? I have to think the humble pitching coach would laugh but if ever there was a franchise coach I think it’s Ray.

    • Campbell Sproul

      I was thinking about that while I wrote this yesterday. A few years ago, it was “which Pirate will represent the team” but right now you could make a legitimate case for 6 or 7 guys who should go (even though not that many will). That speaks volumes.

    • Rumble-Bumble Cat

      It’s funny to think of the long line of players we were told were the future over the years. Admittedly, they got it right with Cutch and Pedro. But big love to Jeff Locke who was never tagged with a franchise saviour label and just made his first All Star team. If anyone deserves to represent the Buccos it is Grilli and Locke. Arguably they came in as a has been and never was (at least to the rest of MLB). Both have that honey badger attitude which really makes them great too. All in all, those two are Pittsburgh baseball.

      Can’t throw hard? Locke don’t care. Look at him busting bats inside. Too old to improve at this level? Ha. Look at Grilli serving cheese to anyone at the plate. He don’t give a uh hit. #honeybadgers

    • Campbell Sproul

      Locke is effective mostly because of his tailing fastball that he can place on a dime from 60′ 6″, his command is impeccable.