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Francisco Liriano, Charlie Morton likely to join Pirates within 2 weeks

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

Francisco Liriano appears likely to join the Pirates on May 11 against the Mets, and Charlie Morton is likely to come back May 14 against the Brewers.

Liriano did very well in his last rehab start at Triple-A. But the Pirates have two off days coming up, today and Monday, so they won't need more than four starters until May 11. That means no more starts for Jeanmar Gomez for the time being, which I think we can all agree is a good thing. One would think Liriano would take Gomez's spot in the rotation. There was a burst of frustration yesterday when it came out that the Pirates were giving Liriano an extra rehab start, but I don't think that's a big deal, as long as they aren't starting Gomez again.

It's less clear what will happen with Morton. My first response would be to give him James McDonald's rotation spot, but the Pirates can't option McDonald to the minors. It wouldn't be a shock to see the Pirates put him on the DL. I would be a little surprised if they bumped him to the bullpen, particularly since Morton was erratic at times even before his injury, so it isn't automatic that he would improve on McDonald's performance anyway.