PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Being the Opening Day starter is usually an honor bestowed upon a teams best pitcher, and for the Pirates many think that is Gerrit Cole, but Clint Hurdle has other plans for who will take the mound when the Pirates host the Cardinals on April 3rd.
Hurdle announced that it will be Francisco Liriano getting the nod rather than Cole.
It seems the announcement has more to do with Cole’s readiness rather than his performance. Cole missed the beginning of Spring Training while recovering from an offseason injury.
Hurdle said, “We felt at this time, mapping Cole out and working with Gerrit, that it would be a push. It wouldn’t be fair to him to try and push that deadline date on him. He’s not going to get out to 6 (innings pitched) and 100 (pitches thrown) until actually that day. We’ve never started a pitcher at the major leagues since I’ve been here that hasn’t gone 6 innings and 100 pitches at some point in time at Spring Training.”
Jim Colony of The FAN Morning Show is in Bradenton covering the Pirates and joined The Starkey and Mueller Show when the news broke.