Thursday, July 10, 2008

Liriano Getting Loose and Dirty

Last week Francisco Liriano posted his best start since undergoing Tommy John Surgery with a 6 inning performance that included 7 strike outs, 1 walk, and a 50% GB%. Thursday night he posted another stellar outing, going 7 innings with 8 strike outs, 1 walk, and only 3 hits. I'm not sure what his GB% for the night was, but I'll update this post as soon as I find out.

According to, the Twins have allowed Liriano to revert back to his old 3/4 slot delivery form with a few minor adjustments. (I assume that said adjustments are intended to prevent future injuries.) It seems that the Liriano of old is beginning to emerge, and the return to his old form should allow him to create better downward movement on his pitches and consequently increase his strike outs and ground ball rates. His control has obviously returned as well, and there seems to be no reason why Liriano couldn't start for the Twins following the All-Star break.

As a side note, for those fans out there worrying that Liriano could re-injure his elbow, don't bother. The success rates for Tommy John surgery are very high, and the ligament that is used to replace the torn one is considerably bigger and stronger once rehab has concluded. The following image should help illustrate what Tommy John surgery accomplishes, and why it's so successful.

Reinjuring his elbow is not impossible, but I don't expect it to happen (at least not anytime in the near future). The Twins are going to treat that arm like all the gold in Fort Knox, and I doubt they'll allow Liriano to use the restroom without having someone wrap his elbow first.

Anyways, I think Liriano is ready for a call-up and he'll only improve as the season progresses. By next spring he'll be as dominant as ever.

**Update: Liriano's GB% for his outing Thursday night was somewhere in the 30% range. Not exactly a good sign, but it seems to be the only area he really needs to improve on.

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