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Liriano Says Ouch!
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 9/13/2006 12:28:00 PM
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Liriano left Wednesday's game with elbow pain. Tough break for the Twins. But should they have even attempted to bring him back this season? Yeah, they're in a playoff race, but we're talking about Liriano's future here. Plus, despite what seems to be the conventional wisdom, the Twins other pitchers aren't a disaster. Matt Garza has looked strong for the most part (his debut notwithstanding). Boof Bonser has been pretty good, too. He has a 38/7 K/BB since his August call-up. Carlos Sliva is a bit of a wild card because of his inconsistency, but he's not bad. And, of course, they still have Santana. If they were determined to bring Liriano back, the Twins should have at least put him in the bullpen and asked no more than inning an outing from him.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and the Twins should have shut him down at the first twitch (instead of letting him fumble through a few extra starts). Liriano's history clearly revealed the risk; the Twins chose to ignore or at the least, downplay it. Garza has not dominated but would be a sufficient stop gap to get them through. Sure, it's important to go for it when the prize is in sight, but at what cost? Baby Johan could be headed under the knife and that would mean 2007 is lost and the first half of 2008 is sketchy. It's hard for us to throw stones as we're not in the decision makers' shoes. Still, it's hard to look at it now without passing judgement.
Posted by eaglehawk at 9/13/2006 1:35:00 PM
The Twins have had only 1 pitcher who had TJ surgery in the past 15 years, so I trust their judgment. Their track record with pitchers is the best in baseball, so I don't think this was a case of being careless.
Posted by schoenke at 9/13/2006 3:50:00 PM
When you watch Franchise's delivery, it's clear his short-arm windup generates a ton of torque on his elbow. It gets magnified when he throws the devastating slider as often as he does. When he makes it back from this terrible injury, I personally hope he considers perfecting his change and switch the roles that his change and slider possess in his Johan. I don't see how he can keep that slide piece as his outpitch his entire career. Anyway, we all love the guy. He singlehandedly kept me interested in baseball this summer.
Posted by lkkwak at 9/13/2006 6:16:00 PM
I think I'd rather be a team that had 10 scrubs get TJ surgery in the last 15 years than a team that had one guy who was Liriano get the surgery.
Posted by herbilk at 9/14/2006 11:02:00 AM
Ya but that isn't the point here. The Twins know how to groom pitchers, and they worked him through several bullpen sessions, and in Triple-A before coming back. After all these workouts and bullpen sessions, the kid says he feels great, with no pain, are you going to tell him he can't come back? Especially in the middle of a pennant race? I highly doubt it. I think you have to either ditch the slider or change his mechanics. It's obviously putting way too much torque on his elbow.

Thorn- 1 inning out of the bullpen obviously wouldn't have made much difference anyways, he was only 2 innings into this start.
Posted by schwang2u at 9/14/2006 1:40:00 PM

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