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Article: Positive steps for Liriano. Will it continue?

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:22 AM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...eps-for-Liriano

#2 deanlambrecht

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:15 AM

Sure, maybe, but he ought to work it out in Rochester, not up here. I realize we have a problem with alternatives. Also, I have little faith that he'll be able to keep it together. He's a 6 year veteran, no? Each year except for one he's found a different way to turn promise into disaster.

#3 Yoshii

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:31 AM

I am actually confident Liriano can get it done. Still have faith, through all the chances we have given him.

#4 jimbo92107

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 09:59 AM

Liriano has been missing precision and consistency. Both those things come from precise control of your balance and footwork. Does anybody here see Liriano controlling his balance and footwork with precision on a consistent basis? Hell no. Every pitch starts and finishes differently, even on a "good" day when he gives up only 4 runs. To fix Liriano's delivery is going to take a lot of work. First, make sure he finishes in the same place on every pitch, preferably in position to field his position. The old "chicken wing" finish with his right elbow crooked, weight over the stride leg, drive leg swings around parallel like an outrigger, throwing arm relaxed and dangling between right thigh and chicken wing. It worked pretty good for Koufax, Lefty Grove, etc. Thing is, he has to finish on balance and ready to field. Liriano doesn't do that, either. Even if Liriano physically is unable to do a standard delivery, even if his pitches absolutely require throwing himself through that funky pirouette, well, then he needs to have a consistent recipe for that delivery, one that ends with him on balance, finishing the same way each time. Such a recipe may be possible, but so far we have seen little evidence of it. On the other hand, I don't think Liriano needs to do his twirly dance to get guys out. I have seen him finish in the standard folded-over, on balance position, and it worked just fine. His fastball still popped, and his slider still slid. Liriano's twirly dance does not impart more speed or spin to a baseball than he could by executing a standard delivery properly. All it does is create uncertainty about his release point, plus risk wrecking his elbow and shoulder...again. After all this time, Francisco Liriano still appears to be a pitcher in search of mechanics that will bring him consistent success. Why not try mechanics that have worked for others?

Edited by jimbo92107, 02 May 2012 - 10:04 AM.


#5 puck34

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:23 AM

I can't believe that we have dummied down expectations so much that last night was considered positive steps for Liriano. He still gave up 4 runs in six innings and didn't have the best control. When coming out of the game he threw his glove and stomped around. This guy has the tools, but is a complete head case. I have no confidence in him whatsoever. Sadly he will still get a decent contract from someone in free agency, but it won't be from the Twins.

#6 CDog

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:43 AM

I can't believe that we have dummied down expectations so much that last night was considered positive steps for Liriano. He still gave up 4 runs in six innings and didn't have the best control. When coming out of the game he threw his glove and stomped around. This guy has the tools, but is a complete head case. I have no confidence in him whatsoever. Sadly he will still get a decent contract from someone in free agency, but it won't be from the Twins.


So it's being dumb to be able to figure out that getting more outs AND giving up fewer runs than in any previous start is better? Seeing that that's better than getting fewer outs while giving up more runs has anything to do with expecations?

#7 Paul

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 11:30 AM

Liriano has been missing precision and consistency. Both those things come from precise control of your balance and footwork...


Exactly right IMO. But I'm not sure he has the time to learn this stuff. Apparently he didn't listen to coaching until he blew out his elbow.

#8 puck34

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:05 PM

CDog................. So by that rational, you are absolutely correct. Anything would have been better than his previous starts. He was completely brutal before last night! Last night was okay at very, very best. I didn't see positive strides in the least, regardless of how many runs he gave up or innings he pitched. If we had any minor league system right now, Liriano clearly would not be a starter.

#9 James Richter

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 12:28 PM

In the spirit of helping Liriano build confidence by placing him in situations where he has the greatest chance to succeed, shouldn't the Twins juggle the rotation a bit to make sure that he pitches in Seattle on Sunday? The Mariners are 12th in the AL in OPS, 13th in OBP and have struck out the most. That's not a lot different from what the Angels have done so far, but the M's typical lineup includes 3 lefties (Ichiro, Dustin Ackley and Michael Saunders), and Safeco is as favorable a pitching environment as there is in the AL. I like his chances better facing that lineup for the first time this year than an all right-handed lineup that has already gotten to him twice in the past month.

#10 Jim H

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:29 PM

Good article, Parker. It has always been my view of Liriano, that he never learned some of what would be the basics for most pitchers. He never needed them in the minors or when he came to the majors because his raw stuff/velocity was so incredible. Even since his TJ surgery, I think he believed he could just go back to what he had always done.(some quotes from Liriano last year indicated that belief) It has become increasing clear that he can't be successful in the majors without mastering his mechanics. It finally looks like Liriano himself realizes this. Liriano clearly still has enough stuff to be a successful starter. If he can get himself together it probably can still happen. I think the it is probably in the Twins best interests to keep him in the rotation, at least for awhile.

#11 ashburyjohn

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 05:38 PM

I didn't see positive strides in the least, regardless of how many runs he gave up or innings he pitched.


He entered the game with an ERA above 11; he left with it under 10. Give him ten more starts, and he'll have an ERA under 0.

#12 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 06:00 PM

I'm sick of Liriano. He is a big headache and despite having ace potential, he'll never be capable of reaching it with the Twins.

#13 savvyspy

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 10:24 AM

Only in Minnesota is the staff ace praised for a lackluster performance in a loss that was slightly better than the epically disasterous starts before. Can't wait for tomorrow's "Clete Thomas Improving by Hitting Fly Ball Outs 5 Feet Further Today" article.

#14 BD57

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 03:18 PM

Went looking for some video of 2006 Liriano. Couldn't find anything substantive from games - probably didn't look hard enough - but did find some "bullpen" stuff. Even accepting there's a difference between warming up & trying to get hitters out, there was a big difference. IMO, Liriano ought to be put on a mound with two short 'sidewalls" on either side - One that keeps him from falling toward third and the other which keeps his back leg from swinging around like a trebuchet on every pitch. He needs balance & he needs everything going toward home plate, neither of which is happening now.