Saturday, July 19, 2008

Liriano's time will come

Former Twins phenom Francisco Liriano is tearing it up in Triple-A right now, leaving his agent to wonder: what does his client have to do to get a call-up?

Lirinao, who missed all of last season after Tommy John surgery, had a very rocky start to this year at the major league level (0-3, 11.32 ERA) but has been excellent at Triple-A Rochester, particularly in his past four starts (4-0. 0.32). The problem is the Twins haven't had a spot for him in their rotation, as youngsters Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn and Glen Perkins have all pitched surprisingly well, and veteran Livan Hernandez has, um, eaten innings.

I'm not sure if Minnesota is trying to delay a big-time paycheck for Liriano as his agent suggests. I think they're just being cautious after his serious injury, and they're also not desperate for him in the rotation right now, even given Hernandez's recent struggles. Liriano's going to pitch again this year in the big leagues, I have no doubt ... it's just a matter of when. He's got more upside than probably anybody on the Twins' roster, provided he can regain the velocity and repertoire of pitches he showed before the injury. That's why I'm keeping him on my bench and just waiting for the inevitable.

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