Stephen J. Nesbitt of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates have named Francisco Liriano as their Opening Day starter for the second year in a row.
Hurdle had some interesting quotes on the matter as reported to Nesbitt. From his post over at the Post-Gazette:
"“We just want to put to rest that we’ve had nine different opening day pitchers in a row,” Hurdle said. “We wanted to settle down and kick that one to the curb.”"
This move allows Gerrit Cole, the other strong candidate for the Opening Day nod, to start the home opener at PNC Park, much to the delight of fans:
Some quick and dirty analysis seems to be that Hurdle and his staff have put considerable thought into this decision, as it allows Cole to have his own unique showcase as he continues his ascent to becoming the “Ace” of the Pittsburgh Pirates’ staff. In lesser clubhouses, such a highly touted pitcher being passed over for the symbolic opener slot may cause tension, but luckily for the Pirates and their fans, that is not the case. Cole has been quoted as saying that he needs to defer to the veterans on the staff as he continues to grow.
Stay tuned to Rum Bunter for complete analysis of the starting rotation now that it is set.