Frankie's Final Start?
by, 07-22-2012 at 10:09 PM (868 Views)
On Monday night, Francisco Liriano is scheduled to make his 130th start in a Twins uniform. It might also be his last.
With 25 strikeouts over his last two starts and a 2.84 ERA since the start of May, Liriano is the hottest pitcher in baseball. He also might be the most appealing rental available on the trade market, with Zack Greinke's market cooling and Cole Hamels perhaps closing in on an extension with the Phillies.
Just over a week remains until the deadline, increasing the urgency for pitching-hungry contenders who could begin making hard pushes for the Minnesota left-hander, especially if he turns in another strong outing against the White Sox.
This is certainly not the kind of leverage Terry Ryan expected to have when Liriano sat with an 11.02 ERA after one month's play. As frustrating as his April was, Twins fans should be very thankful that he was able to pull things together and rattle off three excellent months, boosting his trade value with each passing start. At this point, with the bidding war that ought to take place, I'll be disappointed if the Twins don't come away with at least one impact prospect in a deal.
Pay close attention to Liriano when he takes the hill against Gavin Floyd. It might be your last chance, because you can bet a dozen other teams will be doing the same.