The Pittsburgh Pirates are having second thoughts about signing Francisco Liriano after he suffered an arm injury in December. Some have said that the Pirates have to sign Liriano regardless because they don’t have a pitcher to replace him. That simply isn’t true. The Pirates do have an internal option at pitcher that could take his spot in the rotation.
The pitcher that could take Liriano’s spot if the Pirates don’t sign him is Chris Leroux, a reliever that the Pirates have converted into a starter. Leroux was also on Team Canada’s World Baseball Classic team in 2009. Let’s look at his numbers.
Leroux hasn’t spent much time in the MLB. In his four seasons at the MLB level, Leroux is 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA but he has only appeared in 61 games. His best year was with the Pirates in 2011 when he appeared in 23 games. In 2011 he posted a 2.88 ERA in 25 innings. In 2012, Leroux was coming off of an injury so his time with the Pirates and his numbers aren’t very good. He also hasn’t started a game at the MLB level.
However, with the Indianapolis Indians he has good numbers. In 2012 with the Indians he appeared in 21 games. In those 21 games he started seven of them. He was 4-0, posted a 3.11 ERA in 61.2 innings and recorded 56 strikeouts.
Leroux is only 28 and the Pirates must see something in him to convert him from a reliever to a starter. The Pirates are young team and I think they should give Leroux a chance. See how he does in Spring Training and then go from there.
What’s the worst that could happen?
What do you think? Let me know and follow me on Twitter @EvanCrum1319