Liriano Ready To Help Pirates Win Again

Veteran Lefty Never Expected To Be Back

Eric Hagman
February 11, 2019 - 6:16 pm

Eric Hagman 93.7 The Fan

Bradenton, FL (93.7 The Fan) - He's pitched a no hitter and been on a World Series winner, but Francisco Liriano says starting the 2013 National League Wild Card game for the Pirates and beating the Reds at PNC Park is as good as it gets, and he would like to see it happen again.

"To be honest, I think that is one of the best games that I can remember," the 35-year-old Liriano said after stepping inside the clubhouse at Pirate City for the first time since 2016. "I had a lot of good memories in Pittsburgh.  Hopefully, it will continue this year, too.  Hopefully, we can make the playoffs."

Liriano, who won 42 games for the Pirates from 2013 until he was traded during the 2016 season, signed a minor league contract and will have the opportunity to make the club as the fifth starter or a left-handed specialist out of the pen.  

"I think I'm going to do both (start and relieve) in spring training," Liriano said.  "We'll see how they want me to pitch.  I'm willing to do both, whatever it takes to be on the team, I'm ready.  I'm here to do it."

Liriano was a key member of the rotation during the three consecutive playoff seasons. He was also a leader who helped the young Latin American players.  He said he will continue to provide that support.

After bouncing from Toronto to Houston (where he earned a World Series ring in 2017) and then Detroit with mixed results, Liriano believes this is the perfect place for him 30 months after leaving.

"It's been up and down, a lot of injuries, but everything happens for a reason," Liriano said.  "I decided to come back here.  There are great coaches.  I think they can help me get back to where I was before. Baseball is crazy  and you never know what will hapen.  I'm just very glad to be back here and look forward to making the team."