Francisco Liriano available out of bullpen in Game 5

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It’ll be an all-hands-on-deck night in St. Louis.

According to beat writer Travis Sawchick of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said in his pregame press conference Wednesday that left-hander Francisco Liriano will be available out of the bullpen in Game 5 of the NLDS against the Cardinals. Liriano will either be brought in early if Game 5 starter Gerrit Cole runs into trouble or if the game goes to extra innings. Otherwise it will be the typical crew of relievers.

Liriano allowed just two earned runs on three hits over six innings in his Game 3 start against the Cardinals — a 5-3 victory for the Bucs. He posted a superb 3.02 ERA and 163/63 K/BB ratio across 161 innings during the 2013 regular season.

Erasmo Ramirez to be shut down with a minor lat strain

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Mariners right-hander Erasmo Ramirez has been shut down for two weeks with a minor lat strain, reports Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times. It’s a precautionary move, as Ramirez felt some tightness in his arm and could not complete his scheduled bullpen session on Saturday.

There’s no word yet on whether Ramirez will be able to recover in time for the start of the season, though he’s expected to claim a rotation spot again this spring. The 28-year-old righty has been dogged by injuries throughout his six-year career, but finally managed to piece together a full season on the mound in back-to-back stints with the Rays and Mariners in 2017. He went 5-6 in 19 starts for the two clubs and turned in a cumulative 4.39 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 7.5 SO/9 through 131 1/3 innings.

The Mariners are no stranger to pitcher injuries, either. They lost a number of their top arms to various elbow, arm and shoulder injuries last year and cycled through 40 total pitchers as they limped toward a 78-84 finish. Comments from club manager Scott Servais indicate that the team will keep a close eye on Ramirez throughout his recovery, though Divish notes that right-hander Andrew Moore and lefty Ariel Miranda could also slot into the no. 5 spot if Ramirez experiences further setbacks.