PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Pirates manager Clint Hurdle tabbed Francisco Liriano as the team’s Opening Day starter on Tuesday afternoon. Hurdle made the announcement following the first official full squad workout at Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida. It will be Liriano’s first Opening Day assignment with the Bucs.
The 2013 Opening Day honors went to A.J. Burnett, now pitching with the Philadelphia Phillies.
“The game demands that he met (in 2013), the way he handles himself professionally,” Hurdle said confidently of Liriano and as to why he chose the veteran left-hander to take the mound against the Cubs on March 31.
“He is another guy that models the behavior that you want to instill in others,” Hurdle continued.
Liriano has been given the ball on an Opening Day one other time in his career – 2009 with the Minnesota Twins.
“He’s a man you can depend on.” Hurdle said. “The greatest ability that you can have is your dependability, and we have that in Francisco.”
Manager Clint Hurdle discusses further why Francisco Liriano was named the team’s 2014 Opening Day Starter
* Utilityman Josh Harrison was the only player missing from camp today. He should be in Pirate City on Wednesday. What was the reason for Harrison’s tardiness? He and his wife, Brittney, welcomed in a baby girl last week.
* Outfielder Travis Snider’s work has been limited the early part of spring training. Snider has not hit or thrown because of three stitches he has on his left hand. They got there by way of a kitchen accident for the amateur chef. He sliced the finger cutting a sweet potato.
* First base hopeful Travis Ishikawa arrived at camp today. Ishikawa, formerly of Giants, Brewers, Orioles and Yankees fame is with the Pirates on a minor league deal.
* Pirates Chairman of the Board, Bob Nutting will address both the team and the media on Wednesday.
Listen to Manager Clint Hurdle’s entire post-workout address here:
Dan Zangrilli is the Pirates pre-game and post-game show host and a former minor league baseball play-by-play broadcaster that spent five seasons calling games for both Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals affiliates. You can follow Dan on twitter @DanZangrilli