6/12/2014 12:26 A.M. ET
Oblique strain sends Liriano to disabled list
By Tom Singer and Stephen Pianovich / MLB.com
PITTSBURGH -- Francisco Liriano was placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained left oblique. The left-hander was the second Pirates starter to hit the DL this week, joining right-hander Gerrit Cole and leaving yet another hole in the club's rotation.
Liriano was removed from his Tuesday start in the fourth inning when he felt discomfort in his left side after his 55th pitch of the night. He noted his side still bothered him when he spoke with reporters after the Pirates' 7-3 loss to the Cubs, and said he would undergo an MRI on Wednesday.
Stolmy Pimentel was activated from the disabled list, and the right-hander will take Liriano's roster spot. Manager Clint Hurdle said he was unsure of who would make Liriano's next scheduled start, which will come on Sunday in Miami.
Pimentel, who was sidelined since early May with inflammation in his right shoulder, is a candidate. He was used in a relief role before his injury and has never made a Major League start, but he made 148 starts in the Minors in 154 appearances. Hurdle mentioned reliever Casey Sadler as another option, adding that the team could dip to the Minors as well.
"Internally, [Sadler] is one of the names we're talking about," Hurdle said. "[Pimentel's] name, I imagine will be in. And we'll revisit with our Triple-A staff on guys that are there, as well, that could make that start."
If the Pirates do go in the Minor League direction, it will probably be a move for Vance Worley. The 26-year-old righty, who is 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA in seven starts for Triple-A Indianapolis, has 56 Major League starts to his name. His next start is slated for Friday.
Whoever the Pirates choose to start Sunday may be doing so for just one outing. Cole is on schedule to come off the DL next week, and the Pirates have a day off Monday.
Liriano, who is 1-6 with a 4.60 ERA in 14 starts and 72 1/3 innings this season, said he hasn't previously had an issue with his oblique, but this marks the sixth trip to the DL in the 30-year-old's nine-season career. Liriano's last DL stint was because of a fracture in his right forearm and delayed the start of his 2013 season.
With Cole going on the DL on Sunday with right shoulder fatigue and the Pirates designating left-hander Wandy Rodriguez for assignment three weeks ago, the team currently has just two of the five starters it began the season with.
Harrison day to day with sore left ankle
PITTSBURGH -- Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison was removed from Wednesday's game vs. the Cubs in the third inning with discomfort in his left ankle.
Harrison turned the ankle in the first inning, when he was aboard via a walk and Gregory Polanco lined out to center. Thinking the ball had a chance to fall for a hit, Harrison was running aggressively toward second. When he braked to reverse his path, "I turned the ankle, pretty badly."
Harrison remained in the game, playing second, before suffering another episode to the ankle on a defensive play in the top of the second. He fielded Darwin Barney's grounder in the basepath, and tried to tag John Baker, who was running from first. As Baker spun away from him, Harrison again turned the ankle, although he did make a throw to first to retire the batter.
When Harrison's turn to bat came around again in the third, Clint Barmes hit for him, then stayed in the game to play second base.
"I'll come in [Thursday] to get some treatment, and we'll see how it feels," Harrison said. "At various times, we've all turned ankles. This one hurt pretty good."
Even if Harrison's absence is only temporary, having him forced out of the game came as another blow to a team that has lost three key players in the previous three days.
Starting pitchers Gerrit Cole (shoulder fatigue) and Francisco Liriano (strained left oblique) landed on the disabled list, as did regular second baseman Neil Walker, who underwent an emergency appendectomy Monday night.
Hurdle accepts All-Star coaching invite from Matheny
PITTSBURGH -- Ultimately, Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle wants to return to the dugout of the All-Star Game as a manager.
That cannot happen in 2014, but Hurdle was happy to accept an invitation on the bench of the Midsummer Classic when Cardinals manager Mike Matheny picked Hurdle to be on the National League's coaching staff at Target Field on July 15.
"We've developed a professional respect over the two seasons. We knew each other a little bit before that and we've developed a personal relationship, as well," Hurdle said of Matheny.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez rounded out Matheny's picks, and Pirates assistant trainer Ben Potenziano was also named to the NL squad.
Hurdle managed the NL side in a 4-3 loss that took 15 innings at old Yankee Stadium during the 2008 season, the year after his Rockies went on a late-season tear to win the NL pennant.
"I'm really excited," said Hurdle, the 2013 NL Manager of the Year. "You never know when you get to go to your last one."
Fifth-rounder Suchy among five picks inked by Bucs
PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates signed five picks from last week's First-Year Player Draft on Wednesday.
The Bucs reached agreements with Florida Gulf Coast outfielder Michael Suchy (fifth round), Sam Houston State right-hander Tyler Eppler (sixth round), Jacksonville University righty Alex McRae (10th round), Samford infielder Tyler Filliben (12th round) and Kent State right-hander Eric Dorsch (15th round).
All five former collegiate players have been assigned to Class A short-season Jamestown and will begin their seasons later this month.
First-round pick Cole Tucker agreed to a $1.8 million signing bonus with the club on Monday. The team has not yet confirmed Tucker's deal.
First number, last word
1.422: Andrew McCutchen's OPS -- .450 on-base percentage and .972 slugging -- for his first nine games in June.
"I'll give it an 8.8. Maybe because I've played against Vladimir Guerrero, and he made throws that were … wow. I saw it, and I was like, 'OK … Too much air time.' Now if you're talking accuracy … maybe."
-- Russell Martin, on A's outfielder Yoenis Cespedes' throw in Tuesday night's game -- from the left-field corner on the fly into catcher Derek Norris' mitt to get the Angels' Howie Kendrick -- popularly being called one of the best ever.
• Cole is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Friday, according to Hurdle.
Hurdle noted Cole, who last pitched on June 3, threw from 90 feet on Tuesday and played long toss Wednesday. The right-hander, who made his Major League debut exactly one year ago, is 6-3 with a 3.64 ERA and 69 strikeouts in 2014.
• Gregory Polanco's Major League debut Tuesday night happened to coincide with the annual in-game Pirates Charities auction, and while he was still playing in it, his first-game jersey went for a whopping $26,100. Meanwhile, three-time All-Star McCutchen's in-game jersey fetched $3,220.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. Stephen Pianovich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.