Francisco Liriano

Francisco Liriano Casillas (born October 26, 1983) is a Dominican professional baseball pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox, Toronto Blue Jays, Houston Astros, and Detroit Tigers. Liriano was an MLB All-Star in 2006, and is a two-time winner of the MLB Comeback Player of the Year Award.

Francisco Liriano
Francisco Liriano on August 27, 2012
Liriano with the Chicago White Sox
Pittsburgh Pirates – No. 47
Pitcher
Born: October 26, 1983 (age 35)
San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic
Bats: Left Throws: Left
MLB debut
September 5, 2005, for the Minnesota Twins
MLB statistics
(through July 22, 2019)
Win–loss record111–113
Earned run average4.15
Strikeouts1,797
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Professional career

San Francisco Giants

Liriano signed with the San Francisco Giants as an international free agent in 2000. After the 2003 season, the Giants traded him to the Minnesota Twins, along with pitchers Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser, in exchange for catcher A. J. Pierzynski.[1]

Minnesota Twins

Often compared to former teammate Johan Santana, another hard-throwing lefty, Liriano was touted as one of the "super-prospects" within the Twins organization. As a member of the Rochester Red Wings, Minnesota's Triple-A farm club, Liriano was awarded the 2005 International League Rookie of the Year. He led all minor league pitchers in strikeouts that year, with 204.[2] He made his major league debut in relief on September 5, 2005, against the Texas Rangers. He later joined the Twins' starting rotation and won his first game on September 30, 2005, against the Detroit Tigers. Liriano started the 2006 season in Minnesota's bullpen, but was promoted to the starting rotation in May, exchanging positions with struggling starter Carlos Silva. He won each of his first three starts.

2006

Liriano made a 12–3 start to the 2006 season and won the American League Rookie of the Month awards for June and July. He was named by American League manager Ozzie Guillén as one of five candidates for the 2006 All-Star Final Vote and finished second to the player he was traded for, A. J. Pierzynski. Guillén selected Liriano for his first All-Star game to replace fatigued starting pitcher José Contreras.[3]

Liriano led the Major Leagues with a 2.19 ERA, statistics putting him in discussion for both the American League Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards, but a trip to the disabled list on August 11 left him with too few innings to qualify as the league's official ERA leader and jeopardized his chances at any such awards in 2006. On August 1, 2006, Liriano was scratched from his scheduled August 2 start because of forearm inflammation after a bullpen session.[4] He missed one start before resuming bullpen work without pain, but was placed on the disabled list after continued arm pain during his last start on August 7, 2006. Liriano began a rehabilitation program on August 22, and threw off a mound for the first time on August 30, throwing only his fastball and changeup, and said that he would like to pitch his breaking ball later that week. He made a rehab start for the Rochester Red Wings on September 9, throwing 40 pitches for four strikeouts and one walk in three shutout, hitless innings. After the game, he reported feeling no pain in his elbow and was reactivated by the Twins.

On November 6, 2006, Liriano underwent Tommy John surgery to curtail the pain in his left elbow. He missed the entire 2007 season.

2008

Francisco Liriano on April 18, 2008
Liriano pitching for the Twins in 2008.

On April 11, 2008, he was recalled from Triple-A Rochester in the place of injured pitcher Kevin Slowey. Liriano made his season debut and his first game since Tommy John surgery on April 13, against the Royals. He pitched 4.2 innings giving up six hits, four earned runs and walking five while picking up a loss.

On April 25, Liriano was sent back to the minors after a rough start to the season coming off Tommy John surgery. In three starts, he compiled an 0–3 record with an 11.32 ERA.

After recording an ERA of 2.67 and going 10–0 in his 11 most recent minor league starts, the Twins recalled Liriano on August 1, from Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, replacing Liván Hernández in the rotation. Hernandez was designated for assignment.[5] In his first start after being recalled, Liriano pitched six scoreless innings and struck out five, recording the win.[6] He then went 3–0 in his first three starts with a 1.45 ERA and 15 strikeouts in ​18 23 innings.

2009

Liriano posted a less than stellar 5–13 record in 2009, with a combined ERA of 5.80. However, this was his first year since his Tommy John surgery that he had spent that entire year on the Twins major league roster. On June 28 against the St. Louis Cardinals, he threw seven strong innings, only surrendering two runs. On August 12 vs Kansas City, Liriano went another seven innings, only allowing one Royals player to score a run in yet another strong outing. Between those strong flashes of brilliance though, he logged several sub-par showings, frequently giving up several runs during short times on the mound.

2010

During the 2009 offseason, Liriano returned to his native Dominican Republic to play winter baseball, playing for Leones del Escogido. He helped his club earn a postseason berth and then went 3–1 with a 0.49 ERA in seven playoff starts, while recording 47 strikeouts and five walks in 37 innings, as Leones del Escogido won the league championship.

Liriano reported to spring training lighter than usual, and Twins coaches expressed guarded optimism that he had regained some of his 2006 form.[7] The Twins considered using him as a closer to replace the injured Joe Nathan, but instead he was named to the starting rotation.

Liriano got off to a fast start. In his first four 2010 starts for the Twins, he posted a 3–0 W-L record, 0.93 ERA with 27 strikeouts. On May 3, he was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for April, after posting a 3–0 record and leading the league with a 0.96 ERA.[8] Through May 18, he had posted a 4–2 record and a 2.63 ERA.

He struggled from mid-May until the All-Star break, losing five of seven decisions. But after the break, he returned to his early season form, going 6–0 and posting seven quality starts in 10 appearances. Along the way, Liriano has posted career highs in wins and strikeouts.

He finished 2010 fifth in the AL in strikeouts with 201. He was 14–10 on the year with a 3.62 ERA with 191 and ​2 33 innings pitched. He was considered a Cy Young candidate by some writers[9][10][11][12] as his 2.66 FIP (a defense independent pitching statistic) was second only to Cliff Lee in the American League, his 2.95 xFIP was first in the American League.

Liriano started Game 1 of the 2010 American League Division Series for the Twins. He received a no-decision, pitching 5 and ​2 33 innings, while giving up 6 hits and 3 walks, striking out 7, and allowing 4 runs, all earned.[13] The Twins lost Game 1 to the New York Yankees, 6–4, and were swept 3 games to none in the series, marking the end of Liriano's season. He also signed a 1-year contract after the season.

2011

Liriano struggled through his first several starts of 2011, giving up 24 earned runs in 23.2 innings through the Month of April. During this period of 5 starts, he only entered the 7th inning once. He met with his pitching coach and manager after these starts and was in danger of losing his spot in the starting rotation. His fortunes changed significantly in his next start. On May 3, Liriano pitched his first career complete game, a 1–0 no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field.[14] The no-hitter featured 6 walks, a high (although not record-high) number for a no-hit game. He struck out 2 of the 30 batters he faced and threw 123 pitches, 66 of which were strikes. It was the first no-hitter for the Twins organization since Eric Milton accomplished the feat on September 11, 1999, against the Anaheim Angels, and the seventh official no-hitter for the franchise.

After the no-hitter, Liriano made several strong appearances, including an exceptional start on June 12 against the Texas Rangers. He retired the first 19 batters in order and didn't give up a hit until the 8th inning. Liriano's performance faded later in 2011. After an exceptional outing against the New York Yankees, he left his next start on August 25 after just two innings. He made his way to the disabled list with shoulder strain and did not start another game for the rest of the year. He finished the season with a record of 9–10 and an ERA of 5.09.

2012

Liriano pitched a four-strikeout inning in the fourth inning of the Twins' game against the Kansas City Royals on June 5, 2012. On July 13, he struck out 15 batters in a loss to the Oakland Athletics, topping his career high of 12 strikeouts. He caused 27 swing and misses, the highest number since 2007. In 22 games (17 starts) with the Twins in 2012 before he was traded, Liriano went 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA and 109 strikeouts.

Chicago White Sox

On July 28, 2012, Liriano was traded to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernández.[15] As Liriano struggled with the command of his pitches, the White Sox removed him from the rotation in September.[16] In 12 games (11 starts) with the White Sox, he went 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA.

Pittsburgh Pirates

2013

Liriano agreed to a two-year contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates on December 21, 2012.[17] The contract was voided shortly after as he suffered an injury to his non-throwing arm and failed his physical, having broken his non-throwing arm while he tried to scare his kids at Christmas.[18] A new two-year deal was reached between the Pirates and Liriano and became official on February 8, 2013.[19] He started the 2013 season on the Pirates's 15-day disabled list.[20] He made his debut on May 11 against the New York Mets. Liriano's improved command by changing his pitching mechanics led to a career rebirth with Pittsburgh.[16] He finished his 2013 campaign with a record of 16–8, an ERA of 3.02, and 163 strikeouts.

In the Pirates' first playoff game in 21 years, Liriano gave up one run and four hits in 7.0 innings while earning the win as the Pirates defeated the Reds 6–2 in the NL Wild Card game. He thus became the first Pirates pitcher to win a postseason game since Tim Wakefield in 1992,[21] as well as the first pitcher to win a postseason game at PNC Park.[22] Liriano was named the 2013 NL Comeback Player of the Year for his bounce back year.[23]

2014

Liriano struggled greatly in the first half of the season, going 1–7 with a 4.72 ERA in 15 starts at the All Star break. However, he reclaimed his dominance of 2013 in the second half of the season, going 6–3 with a 2.20 ERA in 14 starts to end the season. Overall, Liriano posted another strong season in 2014, going 7–10 with a 3.38 ERA and 175 strikeouts in 29 starts. On December 9, 2014, he re-signed with the Pirates on a 3-year, $39MM contract.[24]

2015

Liriano continued his success from his previous seasons, striking out a career high 205 and going 12–7 for the Pirates. He led major league pitchers in lowest contact percentage (67.5%).[25] He also had the lowest zone percentage of all major league pitchers, with only 35.8% of his pitches being in the strike zone.[26]

2016

Liriano was named Opening Day starter for the Pirates for the third successive year.[27] However, he struggled throughout the season with bouts of wildness. In 21 starts with the Pirates, he pitched to a 6–11 record, 5.46 ERA, 116 strikeouts and 69 walks through 113​23 innings.[28]

Toronto Blue Jays

On August 1, 2016, the Pirates traded Liriano along with Reese McGuire and Harold Ramírez to the Toronto Blue Jays for Drew Hutchison.[29] While it was initially believed that Liriano would replace Aaron Sanchez in the rotation due to the organization's desire to limit Sanchez's workload, general manager Ross Atkins announced on August 4 that the Blue Jays would use a six-man rotation going forward.[30] Liriano made his debut with the Blue Jays on August 5, pitching six innings against the Kansas City Royals and yielding two earned runs in a 4–3 win.[31] He made eight starts and two relief appearances with the Blue Jays in the regular season, and posted a 2–2 record, 2.92 ERA, and 52 strikeouts in 49​13 innings.[28] In 2016 between the two teams he had the highest rate of bases on balls per 9 innings pitched in the majors (4.69).[32]

In the Wild Card game, Liriano entered in relief in the 10th inning and retired all 5 of the batters he faced. He took the win after Edwin Encarnación's walk-off home run in the eleventh inning.[33] During the eighth inning in the second game of the ALDS, Rangers outfielder Carlos Gómez hit a 102-mph line drive single that struck Liriano near the back of the head. He was taken to a local hospital for examination, and cleared to return to Toronto with his teammates.[34]

On June 25, 2017, Liriano earned the 100th win of his career in an 8–2 victory over the Kansas City Royals.[35]

Houston Astros

On July 31, 2017, the Blue Jays traded Liriano to the Houston Astros for Nori Aoki and Teoscar Hernández.[36] Liriano was moved from the rotation to the bullpen following his acquisition. He made 20 appearances out of the bullpen and finished with an 0–2 record with a 4.40 ERA. Overall in 2017, Liriano made 38 appearances (18 starts) with a 6-7 record and a 5.66 ERA. The Astros finished the year with a 101-61 record (first in AL West), and eventually won the 2017 World Series.[37]

Detroit Tigers

On February 23, 2018, Liriano signed a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers.[38] He earned a spot in the Tigers starting rotation, and won his Tiger debut in a 6–1 decision over the Kansas City Royals on April 2.[39] Liriano was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a hamstring strain following a May 26 start against the Chicago White Sox. He was recalled on June 23 and made a start against the Cleveland Indians.[40] On August 30, 2018, Liriano gave up Giancarlo Stanton’s 300th home run. Liriano made 26 starts for the 2018 Tigers, compiling a 5–12 record, 4.58 ERA, and 110 strikeouts in ​133 23 innings.

Return to Pittsburgh

On February 4, 2019, Liriano agreed to a 1 year minor league deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic first reported the deal and it was later confirmed to be worth $1.5 million with an additional $1 million in incentives. On March 23, 2019, the Pirates announced that Liriano had made the opening day roster.[41]

Pitching style

Liriano is a four-pitch pitcher. To left-handed hitters he throws a four-seam fastball, a two-seam fastball (both averaging about 93 mph), and a slider (mid 80s). Against right-handers, he adds a mid-80s changeup. More than half of his pitches with 2 strikes are sliders, perhaps due to the relatively high whiff rate — 43% over his career.[42] He has one of the league's highest whiff rates on a slider with 2 strikes.[43]

Liriano has been a strikeout pitcher throughout his career, averaging better than one strikeout per inning through May 2016.[28]

Personal life

Liriano's arrival in the United States for 2008 spring training was delayed due to visa problems caused by a prior drunk driving arrest in 2006.[44] Francisco and Johanna Liriano became parents to Kevin Liriano on April 4, 2008.[45] Liriano is the first cousin of pitcher Santiago Casilla.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Giants give up Nathan in deal for catcher". Espn.com. November 15, 2003. Retrieved September 20, 2013.
  2. ^ "Batting Leaders – Baseball-Reference.com". Minors.baseball-reference.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  3. ^ Ed Eagle (July 10, 2006). "Liriano fills in for Contreras as All-Star". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  4. ^ Sullivan, T.R. (August 2, 2006). "Liriano scratched from start with pain Left-hander taking precautionary measures". MLB.com. Archived from the original on June 17, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  5. ^ Nystrom, Thor (August 1, 2008). "Twins recall Liriano from Triple-A Hernandez, Monroe designated for assignment in move". MLB.com. Retrieved January 13, 2009.
  6. ^ "August 3, Minnesota-Cleveland Box Score". Mlb.mlb.com. August 3, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  7. ^ Winter reports were true about Twins' Francisco Liriano
  8. ^ "Robinson Cano, Francisco Liriano take the American League's monthlies". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  9. ^ "Liriano Is Lost in the Cy Young World | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. September 14, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  10. ^ Neyer, Rob. "Twins' Liriano deserving ... but will lose - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  11. ^ "Award Crowdsourcing: AL Cy Young | FanGraphs Baseball". Fangraphs.com. September 10, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  12. ^ "THE BOOK-Playing The Percentages In Baseball". Insidethebook.com. November 17, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  13. ^ "Boxscore: NY Yankees vs. Minnesota – October 6, 2010". Mlb.com. October 6, 2010. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  14. ^ "Twins' Liriano throws no-hitter in victory over White Sox". Tsn.ca. May 4, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  15. ^ "White Sox Acquire Francisco Liriano". Chicago.whitesox.mlb.com. Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  16. ^ a b Sawchik, Travis. "Fastball command sparks Liriano comeback". TribLIVE.com. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  17. ^ "Pirates to Sign Francisco Liriano". Piratesprospects.com. December 21, 2012. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  18. ^ Nowak, Joey (January 21, 2013). "Report: Pirates, Liriano agree to new deal". MLB.com. Retrieved January 21, 2013.
  19. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (February 8, 2013). "Six weeks later, Francisco Liriano's deal with the Pirates is now official". NBCSports.com. Retrieved February 8, 2013.
  20. ^ "Transactions". Pittsburgh Pirates. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  21. ^ "Pitching Game Finder: In the Postseason, From 1903 to 2017, Playing for PIT, Pitcher Won, sorted by most recent date". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  22. ^ "In the Postseason, From 1903 to 2017, At PNC Park, Pitcher Won, sorted by earliest date". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 16, 2018.
  23. ^ "Liriano named NL Comeback Player of the Year". Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  24. ^ Gleeman, Aaron (December 9, 2014). "Francisco Liriano re-signs with the Pirates for $39 million". Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  25. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2015 » Pitchers » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  26. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2015 » Pitchers » Plate Discipline Statistics | FanGraphs Baseball
  27. ^ "Pittsburgh Pirates Name Opening Day Starter". Archived from the original on February 24, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014.
  28. ^ a b c "Francisco Liriano Statistics and History". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved October 4, 2016.
  29. ^ "Blue Jays trade Drew Hutchison to Pirates for Francisco Liriano, prospects". Sportsnet. August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  30. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (August 4, 2016). "Blue Jays to keep Sanchez in 6-man rotation". MLB.com. Retrieved August 5, 2016.
  31. ^ Zwelling, Arden (August 5, 2016). "Liriano gives Blue jays plenty to ponder after solid debut". Sportsnet. Retrieved August 6, 2016.
  32. ^ Major League Leaderboards » 2016 » Pitchers » Dashboard | FanGraphs Baseball
  33. ^ Davidi, Shi (October 4, 2016). "Encarnacion adds signature moment as Blue Jays advance". Sportsnet. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
  34. ^ Davidi, Shi (October 7, 2016). "Blue Jays' Liriano cleared to fly back to Toronto". Sportsnet. Retrieved October 8, 2016.
  35. ^ Alexander, Wilson; Falkoff, Robert (June 25, 2017). "5-run 6th inning lifts Blue Jays past Royals". MLB.com. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  36. ^ Chisholm, Gregor (July 31, 2017). "Toronto gets Aoki, prospect for Liriano". MLB.com. Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  37. ^ McTaggart, Brian; Gurnick, Ken. "Houston Astros win 2017 World Series". MLB. Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  38. ^ Detroit Tigers sign Francisco Liriano to one-year deal
  39. ^ Fenech, Anthony (April 2, 2018). "Detroit Tigers get first win of 2018, beat Kansas City Royals 6-1". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved April 3, 2018.
  40. ^ Beck, Jason (June 23, 2018). "Liriano set to return from hamstring injury". MLB.com. Retrieved June 29, 2018.
  41. ^ Polishuk, Mark (March 23, 2019). "Pirates To Add Francisco Liriano, Melky Cabrera To Opening Day Roster". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved March 23, 2019.
  42. ^ "Brooks Baseball · Home of the PitchFX Tool - Player Card: Francisco Liriano". Brooks Baseball. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
  43. ^ "PitchFX Leaderboards". Baseball Prospectus. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  44. ^ "Liriano's visa held up by 2006 drunken driving arrest". Sports.espn.go.com. February 15, 2008. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  45. ^ Leslie Parker (April 5, 2008). "Span should see plenty of action". Mlb.mlb.com. Retrieved September 20, 2011.

External links

2006 Major League Baseball season

The 2006 Major League Baseball season ended with the National League's St. Louis Cardinals winning the World Series with the lowest regular season victory total in a non-strike season in history. The American League continued its domination at the All-Star Game by winning its fourth straight game; the A.L. has won nine of the last ten contests (the 2002 game was a tie). This season, the Atlanta Braves failed to qualify for the postseason for the first time since 1990. Individual achievements included Barry Bonds who, despite questions surrounding his alleged steroid use and involvement in the BALCO scandal, surpassed Babe Ruth for second place on the career home runs list.

2006 Minnesota Twins season

The Minnesota Twins 2006 season ended with Minnesota finishing the regular season as champions of the American League Central Division, but were swept in three games by the Oakland Athletics in the 2006 American League Division Series.

2008 Minnesota Twins season

The 2008 Minnesota Twins season was the 48th season for the franchise in Minnesota, and the 108th overall in the American League. After tying the Chicago White Sox for first in the AL Central Division with an 88–74 record, the team lost a one game playoff to finish second and miss the league playoffs.

2010 Minnesota Twins season

The 2010 Minnesota Twins season was the 50th season for the franchise in Minnesota, and the 110th overall in the American League.

It was their first season in their new stadium, Target Field, which made its regular-season debut on April 12 as the Twins defeated the Boston Red Sox 5–2. This marked the return of outdoor professional baseball to the state of Minnesota for the first time since the end of the 1981 season, the last played at Metropolitan Stadium. 3,223,640 fans attended Twins games, setting a new franchise record.

The Twins clinched their sixth AL Central division championship in nine seasons on September 21 after a win against the Cleveland Indians and a Chicago White Sox loss. They were again swept by the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series to end the season.

2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the franchise's 127th season as a member of the National League, 132nd season overall, and 13th season at PNC Park. The regular season began at home with a loss against the Chicago Cubs on April 1 and ended with a win at Great American Ball Park against the Cincinnati Reds on September 29. In their first winning season since 1992, the Pirates finished in second place in the National League Central Division with 94 wins and 68 losses.

The Pirates earned their 82nd win of the season on September 9, ensuring the team's first winning season since 1992 and ending the longest stretch of losing seasons—20—in North American professional sports history. Although the St. Louis Cardinals won the NL Central Division, the Pirates clinched a playoff berth for the first time since 1992 in one of two NL Wild Card spots on September 23. In the Wild Card Game, the Pirates secured their first postseason win since Game 6 of the 1992 National League Championship Series by defeating the Cincinnati Reds. In doing so, the team advanced to the 2013 National League Division Series, where they were defeated in five games by the eventual National League champion Cardinals, eliminating them from the 2013 postseason.

Five members of the 2013 Pirates were selected to represent the National League in the All-Star Game. In addition, team manager Clint Hurdle won the 2013 NL Manager of the Year Award in his third year with the Pirates, center fielder Andrew McCutchen was named NL Most Valuable Player, pitcher Francisco Liriano was named NL Comeback Player of the Year, and third baseman Pedro Álvarez tied for first place in home runs hit in the National League at 36.

2016 Pittsburgh Pirates season

The 2016 Pittsburgh Pirates season was the franchise's 135th season overall, the 130th season as a member of the National League, and the 16th season at PNC Park. The regular season started with a win at home against the St. Louis Cardinals on April 3 and ended with a loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on October 2. The Pirates finished the regular season third in the National League Central Division with 78 wins and 83 losses. For the first time since the 2012 season, the Pirates finished with a losing record and did not qualify for the postseason.

Two members of the 2016 Pirates were selected to represent the National League in the All-Star Game: pitcher Mark Melancon and outfielder Starling Marte. In addition, two players were named NL Player of the Week: infielder Jung-ho Kang and utility player Sean Rodriguez, both in September.

2017 Toronto Blue Jays season

The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays season was the 41st season of the franchise in the American League East division of Major League Baseball, and the 27th full season of play (28th overall) at Rogers Centre. For the first time since the 2014 season, the Blue Jays failed to make it to the postseason, finishing fourth in the AL East with a 76–86 record.

2018 Detroit Tigers season

The 2018 Detroit Tigers season was the team's 118th season. It was the team's first year under a mostly new coaching staff led by new Manager Ron Gardenhire. It was the fourth consecutive season they missed the playoffs, finishing with the same record as the previous season, 64–98, but good for third place in the American League Central division.

It was the last season for television announcers Mario Impemba and Rod Allen, who had been together since 2003. Their contracts were not renewed due to an alleged physical altercation after the game on September 4.

Drew Butera

Andrew Edward Butera (; born August 9, 1983) is an American professional baseball catcher in the Colorado Rockies organization. He previously played for the Minnesota Twins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Kansas City Royals, and Colorado Rockies.

The 6 feet 1 inch (1.85 m), 210 pounds (95 kg) right-hander is the son of former major league catcher Sal Butera. Butera became the fifth catcher to catch a no hitter in both the American League (Francisco Liriano, 2011) and National League (Josh Beckett, 2014). Butera has also pitched scoreless innings in both leagues, with a fastball reaching the mid-90s.

Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo José Escobar (born January 5, 1989) is a Venezuelan professional baseball third baseman and shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins.

Harold Ramírez

Harold Andrés Ramírez Lemus (born September 6, 1994) is a Colombian professional baseball outfielder for the Miami Marlins of Major League Baseball (MLB).

List of Minnesota Twins no-hitters

The Minnesota Twins are a Major League Baseball franchise based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the American League Central division. Also known in their early years as the "Washington Senators" (1901–60) based in Washington, D.C., pitchers for the Twins have thrown seven no-hitters in franchise history. A no-hitter is officially recognized by Major League Baseball only "when a pitcher (or pitchers) allows no hits during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings", though one or more batters "may reach base via a walk, an error, a hit by pitch, a passed ball or wild pitch on strike three, or catcher's interference". No-hitters of less than nine complete innings were previously recognized by the league as official; however, several rule alterations in 1991 changed the rule to its current form. A no-hitter is rare enough that one team in Major League Baseball has never had a pitcher accomplish the feat. A perfect game, a special subcategory of no-hitter, has yet to be thrown in Twins history. As defined by Major League Baseball, "in a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game."Walter Johnson threw the first no-hitter in Senators/Twins history on July 1, 1920; the most recent no-hitter was thrown by Francisco Liriano on May 3, 2011. Four left-handed pitchers have thrown no-hitters in franchise history while three were by right-handers. The longest interval between no-hitters was between the games pitched by Bobby Burke and Jack Kralick, encompassing 31 years and 8 days from August 8, 1931 to August 26, 1962. Conversely, the shortest interval between no-hitters was between the games pitched by Kralick and Dean Chance, encompassing 4 years and 364 days from August 26, 1962 to August 25, 1967. They no-hit the Boston Red Sox the most, which occurred twice, which were no-hit by Johnson in 1920 and Burke in 1931. There is one no-hitter in which the team allowed at least a run, thrown by Chance in 1967. The most baserunners allowed in a no-hitter were by Chance (in 1967) and Liriano (in 2011), who each allowed six. Four no-hitters were thrown at home, and three were thrown on the road. They threw one in April, one in May, one in July, three in August, and one in September. Of the seven no-hitters, three have been won by a score of 1–0, more common than any other results. The largest margin of victory in a no-hitter was a 7–0 win by Eric Milton in 1999. The smallest margin of victory in a Twins no-hitter came in 1–0 wins – by Johnson in 1920, Kralick in 1962, and Liriano in 2011 – and a 2–1 win by Chance in 1967.

The umpire is also an integral part of any no-hitter. The task of the umpire in a baseball game is to make any decision "which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, whether a batted ball is fair or foul, whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, or whether a runner is safe or out… [the umpire's judgment on such matters] is final." Part of the duties of the umpire making calls at home plate includes defining the strike zone, which "is defined as that area over homeplate (sic) the upper limit of which is a horizontal line at the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and the top of the uniform pants, and the lower level is a line at the hollow beneath the kneecap." These calls define every baseball game and are therefore integral to the completion of any no-hitter. A different umpire presided over each of the franchise's seven no-hitters.

List of Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day starting pitchers

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They play in the National League Central division. Originally known as the Alleghenys, they played in the American Association from 1882 through 1886, and have played in the National League since 1887. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The Pirates have used 71 Opening Day starting pitchers since they began to play as a Major League team in 1882. The Pirates have a record of 69 wins and 60 losses in their Opening Day games.The Pirates have played in several different home ball parks. Between 1882 and 1909 they played in two parks called Exposition Park and in Recreation Park. They played in Forbes Field from 1909 to 1970 and Three Rivers Stadium from 1970 to 2000 and they have played in their current stadium, PNC Park, since 2001. They had a record of no wins and one loss in the first Exposition Park, four wins and no losses in Recreation Park and no wins and two losses in the second Exposition Park. They had a record of four wins and two losses at Forbes Field and a record of five wins and eight losses at Three Rivers Stadium. Through 2010, they have a record of two wins and one loss at PNC Park. That gives the Pirates an overall Opening Day record of 15 wins and 14 losses at home. They have a record of 54 wins and 46 losses in Opening Day games on the road.Bob Friend has made the most Opening Day starts for the Pirates, with seven. Babe Adams and Frank Killen each made five Opening Day starts for the Pirates, and Deacon Phillippe, Howie Camnitz, Cy Blanton and Bob Veale each made four Opening Day starts. Ed Morris, Pud Galvin, Wilbur Cooper, Ray Kremer, Rip Sewell, Steve Blass, Dock Ellis, Rick Rhoden, Doug Drabek and Francisco Liriano all made three Opening Day starts for the Pirates. Several Pittsburgh Pirates Opening Day starting pitchers have been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame, including Galvin, Burleigh Grimes, Waite Hoyt, Jim Bunning, and Bert Blyleven. Bunning was elected as both a United States congressman and senator from Kentucky after retiring from baseball.The Pirates have won nine National League titles, in 1901, 1902, 1903, 1909, 1925, 1927, 1960, 1971 and 1979. They went on to win the World Series in 1909, 1925, 1960, 1971 and 1979 (the modern World Series begin in 1903). Sam Leever was the Pirates Opening Day starting pitcher in 1901, Phillippe was the Opening Day starting pitcher in both 1902 and 1903, Camnitz was the Opening Day starting pitcher in 1909, Emil Yde in 1925, Kremer in 1927, Friend in 1960, Ellis in 1971 and Blyleven in 1979.

Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award

The Major League Baseball Comeback Player of the Year Award is presented by Major League Baseball (MLB) to the player who is judged to have "re-emerged on the baseball field during a given season." The award was developed in 2005, as part of a sponsorship agreement between MLB and Viagra. In 2005 and 2006 representatives from MLB and MLB.com selected six candidates each from the American (AL) and National Leagues (NL) and one winner for each league was selected via an online poll on MLB.com. Since then, the winners have been selected by a panel of MLB beat reporters. Under the current voting structure, first place votes are worth five points, second place votes worth three, and third place votes worth one with the award going to the player with the most points overall. Past winners have often overcome injury or personal problems en route to their award-winning season.

A Comeback Player of the Year Award has been given by The Sporting News since 1965 but its results are not officially recognized by Major League Baseball. Since the beginning of the MLB award in 2005, the recipients have been identical with the following exceptions: 2008 NL (MLB honored Brad Lidge, TSN honored Fernando Tatís), 2010 AL (MLB honored Francisco Liriano, TSN honored Vladimir Guerrero) and 2016 (TSN honored Jose Fernandez and Mark Trumbo, MLB honored Anthony Rendon and Rick Porcello. Francisco Liriano is the only person to win the MLB award multiple times (2010 AL, 2013 NL), and the first to win it in each league.

Twelve players were named to the Major League Baseball All-Star team in their Comeback Award-winning season: Jim Thome, Nomar Garciaparra, Dmitri Young, Cliff Lee, Brad Lidge, Aaron Hill, Tim Hudson, Lance Berkman, Jacoby Ellsbury, Buster Posey, Fernando Rodney, and Mariano Rivera. Two players who were not named to the All-Star team in their winning year—Jason Giambi and Ken Griffey, Jr.—were named to the All-Star team in their previous season. Several winners have won other awards in their winning season. Carlos Peña, Posey, Ellsbury, Griffey and Hill won the Silver Slugger Award along with the Comeback Award. Posey won the NL MVP in his comeback season. Lee won the Cy Young Award in his winning season and Lidge won both the Rolaids Relief Man and DHL Delivery Man Awards the same year. Rodney was also named Delivery Man in his comeback 2012 season. The most recent winners, announced in November 2018, are Jonny Venters from the NL and David Price from the AL.

Major League Baseball Rookie of the Month Award

The Rookie of the Month award is a Major League Baseball award named by each league every month of the regular season.

Pittsburgh Pirates award winners and league leaders

This is a list of all awards won by players and personnel of the Pittsburgh Pirates professional baseball team.

Reese McGuire

Reese Jackson McGuire (born March 2, 1995) is an American professional baseball catcher for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 2013 MLB draft, and was traded to Toronto in 2016. He made his MLB debut in 2018, and is ranked 20th on MLB's 2019 Top 30 Blue Jays prospects list.

Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award

The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award is the oldest of three annual awards in Major League Baseball given to one player in each league who has reemerged as a star in that season. It was established in 1965. The winner in each league is selected by the TSN editorial staff.

In 2005, Major League Baseball officially sponsored its own Comeback Player of the Year Award for the first time. TSN and MLB honored the same players in 2005—Ken Griffey, Jr. in the National League and Jason Giambi in the American League. The Players Choice Awards, awarded by the Major League Baseball Players Association, also began a Comeback Player honor in 1992.

Listed below are the players honored with the TSN award by year, name, team and league.

The Franchise (disambiguation)

The Franchise is a rock band from Washington D.C.

The Franchise can also refer to:

Suffrage (the right to vote)

The Franchise, the moniker for Major League Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher, Tom Seaver

The Franchise, a nickname given to professional wrestler Sting (wrestler)

The Franchise, the nickname of professional wrestler Shane Douglas

The Franchise (novel)

The Franchise, WFNZ's moniker

The Franchise, one of the nicknames of NBA player Steve Francis

The Franchise, a nickname given to Major League Baseball pitcher Francisco Liriano

The Franchise, a nickname given to NASCAR driver David Reutimann

The Franchise, a nickname given to Major League Baseball pitcher Tim Lincecum

The Franchise, a television show on Showtime

Pittsburgh Pirates current roster
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