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Pirates name Francisco Liriano Opening Day starter

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Pirates have named Francisco Liriano their Opening Day starter.

Not that who starts the first day of the season and who starts the second are any big deal, of course, but Liriano checks both boxes managers look for when determining who their Opening Day starter will be -- he's a veteran, and he's good. In the past, the Pirates have sometimes only managed the first box (Ron Villone, 2002; Kevin Correia, 2011; Erik Bedard, 2012) or only the second (Oliver Perez, 2005).

Liriano will start on Opening Day for the second consecutive year, making him the first Pirate to start on two straight Opening Days since Perez in 2005 and 2006. (The last one before that was Francisco Cordova in 1998 and 1999, in case anyone's wondering.)

Gerrit Cole will start the Pirates' home opener on April 13, which also suggests he'll start the Pirates' second game of the season on April 8.