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.
Minor League Baseball announced on Wednesday that, for the 14th consecutive season, the league has eclipsed 40 million in total attendance. 20 teams set single-game attendance records and seven teams set franchise records for single-game attendance in their current parks.
ESPN’s Keith Law, who has been covering the minor leagues for quite a while, did the math:
Minor League Baseball president and CEO Pat O’Conner, whose most prominent stint in the public eye involved him disingenuously justifying the underpaying of his players, said, “Minor League Baseball continues to be the best entertainment value in sports, and these numbers support that. For us to top 40 million fans for the 14th consecutive season despite the weather challenges our teams faced in April and May is a testament to the continued support of our loyal fan bases and the creative promotions and hard work done by all of our teams across the country.”
Major and Minor League Baseball are quite happy to make money hand over fist on the backs of their players, but are too cheap to pay them adequately for their labor.