Liriano reports to camp injured
BRADENTON, Fla. – Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano reported to spring training camp Monday, but it will be at least another month before he throws his first pitch.
Liriano, who throws with his left hand, will spend the next four weeks rehabilitating the broken humerus in his right arm. He likely won’t be ready to make his regular-season debut until early May.
“It’s coming along pretty good,” Liriano said. “I’m going to take it one day at a time and see how it feels over the next couple of weeks.”
Liriano began jogging and throwing soft toss on flat ground two weeks ago. He’ll wear a removable brace on his arm for the next two weeks before moving to the next phase of his recovery.
In December, Liriano and the Pirates agreed to a two-year contract. But on Christmas, the day before he was supposed to fly to Pittsburgh and sign the deal, Liriano broke his arm at his home in the Dominican Republic. Liriano said he was injured when he slapped a door in his house. About 20 minutes later, his upper arm was swollen and painful.
“I was surprised when I got to the hospital and they told me it was broken,” Liriano said.
Liriano then had to call his agent and the Pirates to tell them about the injury.
“At first, they thought I was joking,” Liriano said. “I said, ‘No, I’m serious. Cancel the flight because I don’t think I can fly there tomorrow.’ It was sad and disappointing. There was nothing I could do.”
With his arm in a cast, Liriano was not able to work out. In the meantime, the Pirates revised the contract offer with Liriano and also signed Jeff Karstens and Jonathan Sanchez to compete for jobs in the starting rotation.
“I was worried they were going to tell me, ‘We’re not going to sign you,'” Liriano said.
A restructured contract was finalized Friday, though, when Liriano passed a physical here.
The original contract was for two years and $12.75 million. Under the revised terms, he is guaranteed $1 million this year, but has the potential to make $13.75 million plus award bonuses over two seasons. Liriano said he doesn’t mind accepting such a heavily incentive-laden deal and less guaranteed money.