At 28 years old, Francisco Liriano is statistically having the second-worst season of his young career.
He owns a 3-10 record with a 5.31 ERA and 1.440 WHIP through his first 22 games and 17 starts of the season. To say that the White Sox are rolling the dice might be an understatement.
With 59 earned runs already surrendered, he is on pace to equal his career-worst 88 earned runs in 2009. However, what the former All-Star does have going for him is a high K/9 ratio of 9.8.
In and of itself, that can be inspiring, especially when placed on a winning team such as the White Sox.
What Chicago had to give up for a two-month rental of Liriano is significant. As you may or may not be aware, Liriano is a free agent-to-be at the conclusion of the season. For his services, White Sox general manager Ken Williams showed his determination to shoring up the starting rotation for the long haul.
The Sox sent the Twins a shortstop by the name of Eduardo Escobar, who has serious starting potential, as well as pitching prospect Pedro Hernandez.
Escobar has shown issues at the plate, owning a .207 average this season, but in 2011 in the minors, he batted .266 and in nine major league games, he batted .286. His defense is truly the selling point, especially if he can mature into a .270 or so batter.
Hernandez got shelled in his one major league game this season, as he owns a 18.00 ERA. In the minors, he is a career 3.42 ERA pitcher with a 1.240 career WHIP.
In other words, he's a project, perhaps a fringe prospect that could develop down the line. Of course, there are also concerns surrounding John Danks and how he will perform returning from his shoulder problems.
What the White Sox have done is given stability to their rotation for the next two months. Should Phil Humber or Gavin Floyd suffer any setbacks from injury, Liriano will certainly be there.
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