Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 4/15/13
Mlb-rays-twins-jul
Francisco Liriano and Jose Contreras made rehab starts for the Bradenton Marauders tonight, combining for five innings on the road against Jupiter. Below are the recaps for each pitcher. Francisco Liriano looked sharp in all three innings tonight. Francisco Liriano When I saw Liriano last week in a simulated game his stuff looked great at times, but he struggled with his control in the second inning. He didn’t have that problem tonight. Liriano started off strong, striking out two in the first inning and throwing a 93-94 MPH four-seam fastball. His four-seam had late arm side cutting movement. He also threw a two-seam fastball which looked more like a sinker due to its late drop off the table toward the plate. Liriano got a strikeout swinging on an 89 MPH two-seamer tonight. He also threw a slider and a changeup, which were both in the mid-80s. The second and third innings went almost exactly like the first inning. Liriano struck out two batters per inning, finishing his outing with three perfect innings pitched and six strikeouts. His last pitch was an 84 MPH slider for a swinging strikeout — his sixth of the evening. Liriano didn’t have the problems that he had in his last outing. His control was excellent, and his results weren’t completely due to going up against a high-A lineup. His stuff looked sharp, and he was pounding the strike zone with all of his pitches. Liriano was scheduled to go three innings and 45 pitches tonight. He finished so quickly that he had to go to the bullpen after his outing and throw some extra pitches. In his next outing he should be stretched out to four innings and around 65 pitches. It’s too early to tell how many outings he is away from returning to the majors, but if he keeps pitching like tonight, the Pirates will get a pitcher closer to the old Francisco Liriano, rather than the 2011-2012 versions. Jose Contreras had a good first, but struggled in the second. Jose Contreras I saw Contreras throw two innings last week on the same day that Liriano threw. Just like Liriano, Contreras had a strong first inning and a rough second inning. His first inning last week was sharp, with dominant stuff highlighted by his 91-93 MPH fork ball. His second inning featured shaky command, and he was rolled due to his pitch count. Tonight it was similar. Contreras gave up a walk in the first inning, but struck out a batter and got two fly outs to finish off the first. He was mostly working off the fork ball, which was again 91-93 MPH and had a ton of downward movement. He also mixed in a mid-to-upper 70s curveball when he was ahead in the count. The second inning for Contreras was rough. He gave up a leadoff single that fell in shallow center field. That was followed by a hit batter, and a sacrifice bunt that moved the runners over. Contreras gave up a hard hit double to deep center, which tailed to the right, just out of reach from Gregory Polanco’s glove. That brought in both runners. Contreras struck out the next batter, then got a ground out to get out of the inning. Before the double his command was off, and he was all over the place. He settled down after the double, and his fork ball once again looked sharp. Both times I’ve seen Contreras he looked great in the first, and struggled in his second inning. Considering that the Pirates would only need him as a one inning reliever, that’s not a big problem. Liriano is on a Major League rehab assignment, but Contreras is officially on the Marauders’ roster. With Liriano, the return to the majors depends on how quickly he can get stretched out. With Contreras it’s all about when he’s ready. The Pirates can also take their time with him. They can keep him in the minors until June 1st, at which point he can demand his release. If he doesn’t demand his release by then, they’d have to pay him a $100,000 bonus to retain him in the minors. I could see Contreras coming up to help the bullpen before that point.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Geno Smith laughed at being ranked last in QB poll

Penn State trash talks Notre Dame Twitter over 'Rudy'

Report: Aroldis Chapman unlikely to be traded

Mets’ trade for Carlos Gomez called off despite reports

Report: Rangers to acquire Cole Hamels from the Phillies

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Tulo hits first home run with Blue Jays

NFLPA officially files Brady lawsuit, wants QB to play Week 1

Mariota’s lack of red flags was a concern for NFL teams

Tigers 'rebooting,' make David Price available in trade

Jerry Jones backs Roger Goodell amid Deflategate controversy

Brady, agent contacted AT&T in attempt to retrieve deleted texts

Texas QB commit has great anti-Oklahoma T-shirt

WATCH: Tim Tebow does monster leg workout

Farrell: Sandoval's conditioning 'continues to be addressed'

Revis won't wear Super Bowl ring around Jets teammates

Former NBAer Vin Baker now works at Starbucks

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Mike Leach compares Deflategate to Kardashians

All Panthers home games will also be broadcast in Spanish

Giants owner calls Pierre-Paul debacle ‘very disappointing’

Panthers WR cited for marijuana paraphernalia, had child in car

Bruins-Canadiens Winter Classic details announced

Jay Bruce and Carlos Gonzalez: Twin trade chips

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Can Preller fix the mess in San Diego?

Next summer's top 10 NBA free agents

Who is the NL's new top shortstop?

Cardinals HC Bruce Arians calls Jen Welter a 'trailblazer'

Mets still act like a small-market team

Tom Brady: I did nothing wrong

NFL upholds Tom Brady's suspension, legal battle likely

Cardinals hire first female NFL coach

Larry Bird: Michael Jordan would kill me in 1-on-1 now

Seau family: HOF broke their word

Kobe to see time at power forward next year

Mike Pettine not ruling out Manziel

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker