Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano wins NL Comeback Player of the Year award

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The Sporting News today named Pirates left-hander Francisco Liriano the recipient of its National League Comeback Player of the Year award.

Pirates setup man Mark Melancon finished second and Marlon Byrd, who joined the Pirates in a trade from the Mets this season, came in third.

Major league players voted for the award.

Liriano went 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA with 163 strikeouts in 161 innings this season.

Liriano had a 5.34 ERA and walked five batters per nine innings in 2012 while with the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox. He allowed 19 home runs and had a 1.47 WHIP.

In the offseason, he broke the humerus of his right -- non-pitching -- arm when, according to Liriano, he slammed it into a door to scare his children.

He made 26 starts after returning in May when his right arm was healthy.

Although he and the Pirates originally agreed to terms on a two-year contract, the injury occurred before he passed his physical. The parties restructured the contract to guarantee Liriano only $1 million in 2013, down from the $12.75 million over two years in the original negotiations, and gave him performance bonuses and a vesting option for '14.

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, whose 2012 season was cut short because of a knee injury, won the American League award.

Bill Brink: bbrink@post-gazette.com. Twitter: @BrinkPG.

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