Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Should the Twins send down Francisco Liriano

Here is today's subject it is a little bit different instead of comparing two prospects I am asking the question on every Twins fans mind.

1. Should the Twins send Francisco Liriano to Rochester to work on his mechanics.

  • Argument for Keeping Liriano in the Majors: I am not going to argue that Francisco Liriano has had his problems this year. He is 2-6 with a 6.42 era but he has all the talent in the world. You can not forget about 2006 when he went 11-2 with a 2.16 era. He had Tommy John surgery after the 2006 season and missed the entire 2007 season. Last year it took him a while to get his command back and pitch anywhere close to what he did in 2006. He was very solid after he came up in July and did just what the Twins asked him to do when he came back and that was to quiet his mechanics down and throw more fastballs and less Sliders. Going into this year there was a lot of hope that he would be back to 2006 version after a winter of no rehab. Granted the results have not been real great but the bottom line is his velocity is up this year from 89-90 to 92-94. In his start yesterday he was throwing a 89 mile an hour slider so that is huge news. He is very close to putting it all together and being the pitcher that we all know he can be.

  • Arguement for sending Liriano to Rochester: The bottom line is he is not getting it done and you can't keep on with a 6.42 era. Especially, on a team that has designs on making the postseason. Every time he goes out there he is giving up 5-6 runs and that is just not good enough. He has no control of the strikezone in that he falls behind and has to bring a cookie that teams are hammering on. What he needs is to spend another couple months in AAA to get his control because that is last thing he needs because his slider is coming back and he has a good changeup when he uses it. The thing about that though is what good are those pitches if your down 3-0, 3-1 in the count to every hitter because you can't hit your spots with your fastball. Bobby Cueller is one of the best pitching coaches in the game and a couple months working with him I believe would have Liriano ready to contribute during the stretch run where the Twins need the Franchise back.

  • The bottom line is Francisco Liriano has been bad lately I mean really bad. The easy thing would be to send him to the minors to work on his problems. The problem I have with that is that in the best interest of the Twins when you have someone that talented in the minor leagues. I just really feel after seeing those velocity readouts that Liriano is very close to turning that corner and being very dominant once again. I just think the Twins should keep him up here to work with Rick Anderson on his location of his fastball. If they could get him to consistantly keep the ball down he would be awesome again. He has the most potential of any starter on the staff because when he is right he is dominant. However, you can't keep giving up 5 runs a game forever so if he doesn't pick it up in the next 2 to 3 starts I would relent and send him down to Rochester to work on his control.

I would really like to get some feedback on this topic whether you liked it, didn't like it, if you liked the new font or really anything let me know. You can either email me at travis_aune@yahoo.com or leave a comment in the box. Thanks for reading

Tuesday, May, 26th

Twins Talk

  • Yesterday the Twins lost a tough 6-5 game to the Boston Red Sox at the dome. Francisco Liriano was once again awful giving up 5 runs in only 4 innings of work to bring his ERA up to 6.42 on the season. The positive news is he had an unbelievable slider getting 7 strikeouts in only 12 outs. Also it looked like he has some more velocity most of the sliders were 88-89 that is 2006 form. The problem is I can count on one hand the amount of changeups he threw. Boston just laid off the slider because he could't get ahead with his fastball. So he got into 2-0, 3-1 counts and they mashed it then. When he got ahead in the count it was over, but he did not do that enough so thats why he got pummeled. It all comes back to the fastball until he learns to control that he will be nothing more than a average pitcher. For a bright spot R.A. Dickey came in and did a phenomenal job working 4 innings and only giving up 1 run. In his last 12.2 innings Dickey has only given up 1 run. In the role he is in right Dickey is fine, but don't put more into this than it is because you put him in tougher situations and he will struggle just keep him where he is.
  • For Most of the game the Twins struggled to solve Red Sox pitcher Brad Penny trailing 5-1 going into the 6th inning. We rallied to get within 6-3 in the ninth facing Super Closer Jonathon Papelbon and Joe Mauer pinch hit and hit a 2 run homerun off Papelbon to pull within 6-5. Thats where it ended but Mauer is unbelievable right now. I have never seen anthing like this before. He is now hitting an out of this world .444 with 11homeruns and 31 rbi's to set a Twins record for most rbi's in a month. Jason Kubel got back on the horse with 2 hits and a rbi in the losing cause for the Twins.
  • Tonight, the Twins continue their 4 game series with the Red Sox with Nick Blackburn getting the start for the Twins.

Rochester Wrap

  • The Red Wings lost a very tough game yesterday to Durham 3-2. Jason Jones had his finest start of the year for Rochester going 6 innings and only giving up 2 runs and most importantly walking noone and striking out 3. Juan Morillo came in relief and had one of his outings that he would like to forget. In 2 innings of work he gave up 2 hits and a run along with 2 walks and 2 wildpitches. Morillo has the arm to be a good pitcher for us but until he refines that control on a regular basis he won't see a major league mound for a long time.
  • Jason Pridie had a good game for the Wings going 2-3 with a walk to bring his average up to .240 on the year. Alexi Casilla added a hit and his 6th stolen base of the year for the Red Wings. I know there are not many who agree with me but I think Casilla should be back up with the Twins he is a much better option for the Twins than Matt Tolbert and he continues to hit good in AAA so yeah I think the time is now for the Twins to make the move to call up Casilla again.
  • Tonight, the Red Wings continue their series with Durham with Kevin Mulvey getting the start for Rochester.

New Britain Business

  • The Rockcats had their 8 game hitting streak come to an end in heartbreaking fashion as they lost a tough one to Binghamton 5-4 in 11 innings. The tough part is they blew a 2 run ninth inning lead and a 2 run 10th inning lead. For some reason New Britain did not bring their 2 best relief pitchers Rob Delaney and Anthony Slama into the game. I know they had rough outings their last outing but if these are going to be future Twins you need to challenge them to get over it and rebound. It was a shame because Jay Rainville put together another awesome start going 6 innings and not giving up a run on only 3 hits. Yohan Pino pitched a good inning in relief, then Frank Mata came in and gave up 2 runs even though neither of them were earned thanks to an error by Toby Gardenhire. Zack Ward came in the 10th with a 2 run game and coughed that up and gave up 3 runs in only 1.1 innings. I don't know what the answer is with Ward but something has to be done becuase he has been awful.
  • The hitting heros yesterday were Whit Robbins who was 3-4 with his 10th double of the season. With the 3 hits his average is up to .326 on the season. Rene Tosoni continued this hot streak going 2-6 to bring his average up to .261 on the season. Tosoni really struggled early in the year but he has really come on as of late. Erik Lis also contributed 2 rbi's for the rock cats to bring his season total up to 20 on the season.
  • Tonight, the Rockcats try to get back on a roll as they take on Trenton with Ryan Mullins trying to continue his roll as of late getting the start for New Britain.

Fort Myers Memos

  • No Game Scheduled
  • Tonight the Miracle begin a series with Tampa with Tyler Robertson getting the start for Fort Myers.

Beloit Business

  • The Snappers went back to their old way yesterday as they lost another one to Wisconsin yesterday 7-4. Michael Allen got the start and was ok once again but still ended up getting the loss to bring his record to 0-6 on the season. Allen went 5 innings and gave up 4 runs although only 2 of them were earned. He walked 5 batters and struck out 3. With the 2 runs his era is now a not good 6.13 on the season. I am really waiting for the Snappers to try Leavitt in the starting rotation and send Allen to the bullpen. He just is not getting the job done. Really none of our starters really have gotten it done this year. Tippett has been the only decent starter this year. Osterbrock, Lanigan, Hunt, Allen, and Berlind really have not done anything for the Snappers this year so its time to try something else. Also is there any doubt that Joe Testa belongs in Fort Myers with his 1.80 era.
  • The Snappers had a good day at the plate as they put together 11 hits. Nate Hansen led the charge going 3-4 with 2 rbi's to bring his average up to .284 on the season. James Beresford contributed 2 hits to bring his average up to .301. Ozzie Lewis came out of the slump with 3 hits yesterday and Jonathon Waltenbury contributed 2 more hits also. Hitting has really not been the problem for the Snappers and not the reason they are in last place. If the Snappers could get some pitching they would have a decent team.
  • Tonight the Snappers begin a series against South Bend with Dan Berlind getting the start for Beloit in the 3 game series.