Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Twins struggle with what to do with Dominican pitcher Liriano

Dominican pitcher Francisco Liriano has shown extended flashes of brilliance in his six plus years in the majors with the Twins.  Rookie of the Year, out a year with Tommy John Surgery, then some down years, and then Comeback Player of the Year.  He has shown top of the rotation stuff, but has been inconsistent at best.

The Twins are frustrated with the Dominican pitcher and do not know what to do with him.  They feel they have tried almost everything.  The latest ploy: letting him sit out a start after a bad first four games.  Twins GM Terry Ryan says his stuff is fine, his health is fine, his location is what is missing.  Twins staff also says that Liriano often overcompensates for problems in his mechanics.  Translation: the mental part of his game has never been up to elite level.

Liriano can be a dominating pitcher when he puts it all together.  He pitched at elite level in the Dominican Winter League the last two years.  He needs to bring the same intensity and mental toughness he has shown in stretches to his game everyday.  That would make him the elite pitcher that he is capable of being.

Dominican pitcher Francisco Liriano is from San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.
Dominican pitcher Francisco Liriano with the Twins, photo by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar on Flickr

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