For those who were under the impression that Francisco Liriano SHOULD NOT be traded due to his previous three starts prior to Monday night (20 2/3 innings, 31 strikeouts and six earned runs), hopefully Monday reminded you why the Twins must deal Liriano sooner rather than later.
Liriano is a classic example of a “Mr. Hyde and Dr. Jekyll.”
One night he’s lights out. He looks like one of the best pitchers in the game. The next night he looks like he did Monday: 2 2/3 innings, seven earned runs, three home runs and seven hits.
Performances like that destroy a bullpen. And Liriano has been notorious for that type of performance over the past two seasons.
Nine of his 17 starts this year have NOT been quality starts. Twelve of his 23 starts in 2011 were NOT of the quality variety.
The Liriano that took the baseball world by storm in 2006 isn’t this Liriano. That Liriano was fearless, confident and possessed one of baseball’s nastiest sliders.
That Liriano was neck-and-neck with Justin Verlander for the American League Rookie of the Year until Tommy John Surgery ended Liriano’s 2006 (12-3, 121 innings pitched, 144 strikeouts, 2.16 ERA, 1.00 WHIP). That all-star campaign appears to be a one and done as Liriano’s career continues to spiral downwards.
Yes, his 2010 season was very good (191 2/3 innings, 201 strikeouts, 3.62 ERA, 1.26 WHIP). But it wasn’t close to the show Liriano put on in 2006.
On the year, Liriano owns a 5.31 ERA, 1.44 WHIP with 109 strikeouts in 100 innings pitched. He is 3-10 on the season and was sent for a stint in the bullpen after a poor start on May 7.
Those who think the Twins should keep him because of his “potential,” forget about it. Liriano is a head case who isn’t the confident stud he was when he tore up the American League in 2006. That Liriano is a thing of the past.
The best thing the Twins can do for themselves and Liriano is to provide him with a fresh start (preferably in the National League). It should benefit the Twins with some adequate prospects and give Liriano an opportunity to clear his head.