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.

Watch: Christian Yelich continues to make a case for NL MVP repeat

Christian Yelich
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Christian Yelich simply can’t be stopped. The Brewers outfielder (and defending NL MVP) entered Saturday’s game with a league-leading 11 home runs after swatting two against the Dodgers on Friday night, then clubbed another two homers in the first six innings of Saturday’s game.

The first came on a 2-1 pitch from the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu, who lobbed a changeup toward the bottom of the strike zone before it was lifted up and out to center field for a solo home run in the third inning.

While Chase Anderson and Alex Claudio held down the fort against the Dodgers’ lineup, Yelich prepared for his second blast in the sixth inning — this one a 421-foot double-decker on a first-pitch curveball from Ryu.

Yelich’s 13 home runs not only gave him a stronger grip on the league’s leaderboard, but helped him tie yet another franchise record, too. Per MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy, he’s tied with Prince Fielder for the most home runs hit by a Brewers player in a single month, and sits just one home run shy of tying Álex Rodríguez’s 2007 record for most home runs hit within any club’s first 22 games of the season.

It may be far too early to predict which players will finish first in the MVP races this fall, but there’s no denying Yelich has already set himself apart from the competition. Through Saturday’s performance, he’s batting .361/.459/.880 with a 1.329 OPS and MLB-best 31 RBI across 98 PA so far.