The Pittsburgh Pirates Francisco Liriano left todays game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the third inning. The comback player of the year in 2013, Liriano bent over at the waste after throwing seven consecutive balls. He was relieved by Stolmy Pimentel who stranded three St. Louis runners when he struck out Yadier Molina.
The Bucs left hander always struggles in April going 5-17 with a 5.84 ERA over his career. Liriano has said the cold weather hampers his velocity as well as his feel on breaking balls. The stud of a Bucs rotation in 2013 didn’t pitch in April as he recovered from a broken arm.
Some feel that something might be off with Frankie this season as Liriano has shown a drop in velocity this year. It was reported in ESPN.com. The article is rather silly and finished with a ridiculous last sentence that we thought we should share.
Francisco Liriano, Pittsburgh Pirates 2013: 93.8 mph sinker 2014: 92.3 mph sinker Preseason projection: 3.69 ERA ERA Adjustment: +0.14 Liriano has been named the Comeback Player of the Year twice, last year and in 2010, which also means that he has collapsed twice, in 2009 and 2011. Part of Liriano’s on-again, off-again success can be explained by his fluctuating velocity — when he’s thrown his sinker at close to 94 mph he strikes out better than a batter an inning and when he’s fallen under 93 mph he hasn’t had much success. Season sinker velocity (K/9) 2009: 92.7 mph (8.0) 2010: 94.3 mph (9.4) 2011: 92.7 mph (7.5) 2012: 93.7 mph (9.6) 2013: 93.8 mph (9.1) Liriano’s history makes his low velocity this April particularly alarming and increases the odds that his year looks more like 2011 than 2013.
It’s apparent to me that Frankie is a different pitcher since coming under the tutelege of the witch Ray Searage. But still, this injury which could be something to his lower back gives Pirates fans plenty of reasons for concern.