Liriano Awaits Fate

Makes final appearance before decision on Saturday

Jeff Hathhorn
March 22, 2019 - 5:10 pm

93.7 the Fan

PORT CHARLOTTE, FL (93.7 the Fan) – In his final appearance before he said he will find out Saturday if he made the team, Francisco Liriano went 1.2 innings, allowing three hits, three walks, three strikeouts and a run.  His spring ERA is 4.66.

If asked, the 12-year veteran said he would not pitch in AAA.

“I feel like I can still pitch in the big leagues” Liriano said. “It’s spring training for me. The last 12 years in spring, I came to get myself ready – not really pitching in spring to put numbers down.  It’s something new for me. I’m trying to do better.”

“That happens to veterans and I’ve been in those shoes where you are not set in a spot and you have to go pitch,” said pitching coach Ray Searage.  “Every time something happens you are going to try and do this and try and do that.  Just trust your stuff.”

Liriano retired his first two batters he faced before getting out of the second inning following a couple of hits, then he allowed a double, walk, single, walk followed by two strikeouts before being replaced.

“I was trying to overthrow and trying to do too much instead of just [making] one pitch at a time, one hitter at a time,” Liriano said.  “I was rushing a little bit. I’m not really happy with that outing today. I think I should have done better the first inning, too.  I just walked a couple guys.  I’m not happy when I walk a couple guys like that.”

The 35 year-old said he is not having an issue adjusting to a reliever role, saying he’s done it before and just trying to find a routine.  The lefty also believes his stuff is still good, saying he’s just working on his location with his fastball.

“When the bases were loaded, if you noticed, his back was against the wall, he went out there and made pitches,” Searage said.  “Maybe I should tell him to think the bases are loaded all the time and go after these guys.  It’s a frame of mind.  He wants so badly to make this club.  All he has to is just pitch and do his thing and he will be fine.”

Does Liriano, who won one of the biggest games in the last two decades of Pirates baseball beating the Reds in the Wild Card game, have a feeling of his fate?

“To be honest, I don’t know,” Liriano said. “They haven’t told me at all about that. We’ll see what happens.”

Liriano won the American League Comeback Player of the Year award in 2010, National League Comeback Player of the Year award in 2013.  We will find out on Saturday if Liriano will make get a chance to make another comeback with the Pirates.

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