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Liriano returning to form for Twins

By jcfortun Published: March 11, 2009

Minnesota Twins left handed pitcher Francisco Liriano was the toast of baseball during the 2006 season when he made 16 starts and compiled a 12-3 record with 144 strikeouts in 121 innings.

Liriano finished that year with a 2.16 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00, as he walked just 32 batters. His numbers were very similar to the American league Cy Young Winner that year, teammate Johan Santana.

But Tommy John surgery ended Liriano’s 2007 season before it ever began and forced him into plenty of rehabilitation and a lot of touch up innings in the minor leagues in 2008.

If Liriano’s spring work is a strong indicator of where Liriano is compared to his former dominant self than the rest of baseball, especially the American league Central, needs to be ready.

Liriano struck out five batters in four innings Sunday as he did not allow a hit. In his last seven innings, Liriano hasn’t surrendered a run or a walk.

The numbers shouldn’t be too surprising as Liriano showed flashes toward the end of last season when he struck out 60 in 65 innings, allowing 19 walks. Liriano wasn’t recalled to the major leagues fulltime until August 3.

There were also rumors that the financially-conscience Twins did not want to call him up due to issues arising from his arbitration eligibility.

Career-wise, Liriano hasn’t pitched exceptionally well against the Indians, but that doesn’t mean he won’t.

In five career starts against the Indians Liriano is 2-2 with a 4.10 ERA in 26.1 innings, but his dominant stuff has gotten him 32 strikeouts.


Twins franchise catcher Joe Mauer received a magnetic resonance arthrogram Tuesday to determine exactly what is wrong with his ailing back.

The test showed inflammation in Mauer’s sacroiliac joint, or the place where the spine and the pelvis come together. Doctors are planning on being more aggressive with his medication to get rid of the inflammation.

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