Posts Tagged ‘Francisco Liriano’

Welcome Back, Francisco

It’s official: The Cisco Kid, Francisco Liriano, is returning to the Bus Leagues.

Liriano was sent to Triple-A Rochester before Friday night’s game at Texas, and it was not a surprise. He gave up six runs and got only two outs on Thursday against Oakland, his latest failure to find the strike zone in a return from reconstructive elbow surgery.

“He knew he needed to improve. It wasn’t a shocker to him,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He saw where he was at and he knows he’s got work to do. Maybe he can clear his head, get after it down there and get back up here.”

Eleven days was all it took for the Twins to realize that Liriano was not progressing as well as they had hoped following his 2006 elbow surgery.  He failed to work more than five innings in any of his three starts, capped by an awful outing on Thursday: 2/3 of an inning, six runs, five hits, three walks, no strikeouts.  For the season, half of the batters he has faced (28-of-56) have reached base via hit or walk.  His ERA+ stands at 37.

As seen above, Minnesota’s management doesn’t seem to feel that this is a physical problem, but a mental one.  In all likelihood, Liriano is just having some trouble shaking off the rust that accumulates during a lengthy rehab such as the one he endured in 2007.  It takes some time to get everything working in concert again, including the physical AND mental approach.  In Rochester, he’ll have the opportunity to figure it all out.

Light A Candle Tonight, Twins Fans

In just a few hours, one of the great questions of the 2008 baseball season could be answered:

Is Francisco Liriano ready to pitch at the major league level again?

Liriano missed the end of 2006 and all of 2007 with an elbow injury that would eventually require Tommy John surgery.  He made his return to competitive action with Class A Fort Myers last week and will move up two levels tonight, making the start for AAA Rochester against the Norfolk Tides.  According to the Star Tribune, a successful outing could land the former phenom and (hopeful) future ace back in Minnesota in time for next Sunday’s game against Kansas City.

If anyone is in Norfolk tonight and able to catch the game, feel free to send along any thoughts or observations.  Liriano may just be passing through on his way to bigger and better things, but for now, he is still very much a Bus Leaguer.

(HT: The Big Lead)