Mar 19, 2014; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Brandon Cumpton (58) throws the ball against the Boston Red Sox at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Pirates: Brandon Cumpton Demoted; Francisco Liriano Good To Go

The Pittsburgh Pirates are now that much closer to the 25 men that will take the field Opening Day with their most recent cuts.

Feb 26, 2014; Bradenton, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Francisco Liriano (47) throws a pitch during the first inning against the New York Yankees at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday morning, the team optioned RHP Brandon Cumpton to Triple-A Indianapolis.

Cumpton appeared in six games this spring for the Pirates and was 1-0 with a 2.21 ERA. Last year, he spent most of his season with Triple-A Indianapolis. However, he did appear in six games for the Pirates (five starts) and was 2-1 with a 2.05 ERA.

Despite the strong spring from Cumpton, the Pirates are committed to Edinson Volquez and his $5 million salary for the final spot in their rotation. That’s despite Volquez getting shelled this spring, going 0-3 with a 9.64 ERA in 14 innings pitched. Volquez allowed 19 hits and walked seven batters in that time, striking out only 12.

The demotion of Cumpton also says a lot about the health of Opening Day starter Francisco Liriano as he appears to be good to go to make his scheduled start on Monday.

Liriano threw 55 pitches in a simulated game. Afterwards, he and the team sounded optimistic about his prospects for making his start against the Cubs on Monday.

However, don’t forget Cumpton’s name as he will certainly be heard from a couple of times this season.

With the health concerns swirling around Wandy Rodriguez and Charlie Morton – and the control issues from Volquez – Cumpton should be a name to keep an eye on sooner rather than later.

Tags: Brandon Cumpton Edinson Volquez Francisco Liriano Pittsburgh Pirates

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