BRADENTON, Fla. -- Francisco Liriano will start on opening day for the Pirates, manager Clint Hurdle announced today, a reward for Liriano's outstanding performance in 2013 after a winter injury derailed his season's first month.
The left-handed Liriano went 16-8 with a 3.02 ERA in 161 innings in 2013. Hurdle informed the team this morning, at the start of the first full-squad workout, that Liriano would start.
"He’s a man you can depend on," Hurdle said. "Many times I’ve shared with these players the greatest ability you can have, day in and day out, is your dependability."
Spring Training Report: Hurdle names Liriano Opening Day starter
Pittsburgh Pirates Pirates manager Clint Hurdle naming Francisco Liriano the Opening Day starter from spring training camp in Bradenton, Fla. (Video by Peter Diana; 2/18/2014)
Liriano did not make his Pirates debut until May. He fractured the humerus in his right arm on Christmas Day 2012 when he slammed his hand into a door trying to scare his children.
"At this time last year, he was rehabbing," Hurdle said. "He wasn’t even in the picture."
The Pirates open the season March 31 with a home game against the Chicago Cubs at 1:05 p.m.