Francisco Liriano expected to make Pirates debut May 10

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Via Karen Price of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Francisco Liriano is scheduled to pitch five innings (80 pitches) on Thursday for Triple-A Indianapolis, six innings (90 pitches) on Tuesday and 100 pitches on May 5, which puts him in line for a start with the Pirates on May 10 at the New York Mets.

Liriano broke a bone in his non-throwing arm while trying to play a prank on his kids on Christmas Day. The Pirates renegotiated his two-year, $12.75 million free agent contract after that incident so that only $1 million of the deal is now guaranteed. He can make up the rest through performance-based incentives.

The 29-year-old left-hander posted a 5.34 ERA, 1.47 WHIP and 167/87 K/BB ratio across 156 2/3 innings last season between the Twins and White Sox. But the Bucs believe he will be an upgrade for them.

Alex Wood to try pitching out of the stretch

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Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers starter Alex Wood plans to pitch out of the stretch throughout the 2018 season. Wood got the idea when he watched Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg pitch against the Dodgers.

Wood, 27, finished last season 16-3 with a 2.72 ERA and a 151/38 K/BB ratio in 152 1/3 innings. That’s a mighty fine season, one in which many pitchers would not dare to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Interestingly, Wood indeed has had better results with runners on base — when he would pitch out of the stretch — as opposed to the bases being empty, with a respective OPS allowed of .523 versus .684, respectively. Over his career, he has allowed a .617 OPS with runners on and .706 with the bases empty.

In response to Moura’s tweet about Wood, retired pitchers Dan Haren and Jered Weaver took the opportunity to burn themselves. Haren tweeted, “I pitched a few seasons completely out of the stretch actually, just not by choice.” Weaver responded, “Sometimes I would just step off and throw the ball in the gap myself because I knew the hitter would do it anyways.”