Was Francisco Liriano a Victim Of The Twins' Thrifty Ways?

Dan WadeSenior Analyst IJuly 17, 2008

Star Tribune reporter Joe C confirmed rumors today that Francisco Liriano (and, more accurately, his agent) will look into filing a grievance over the former phemon's extended stay in AAA.

I can't say I blame them, conspiracy theorists have long tossed around the idea that Liriano would stay in Rochester until he was virtually assured of missing Super 2 status. Realistically, however, I can't see this going anywhere.

Liriano was pretty bad in his early season starts, bad to the tune of an 0-3 mark with a WHIP of 2.71 and an ERA over 11, so his demotion isn't the issue here. That was more than deserved.

He struggled with his consistency after being demoted on April 26 and didn't win his first game until June 5. He had a few good starts, but nothing to indicate that he was dominating AAA like he did in 2006.

Since June began, he hasn't lost a game, and his 20 inning scoreless streak is making Twins fans salivate over the possibility of getting their real ace back.

However, he gave up 10 runs in the 10 innings before his streak began and while his walks are under control, he wasn't missing many bats. His performance has been stellar since June 25, but so has the Twins'.

Since the June 25 the Twins' starters are 10-3 and Livan Hernandez (who isn't just going to disappear) was responsible for two thirds of those losses.

Liriano should be called up soon, really soon, like "in half an hour" soon, that is very true. His extended stay in AAA, however, wasn't due to the Twins' famed cheapness, but rather was caused by inconsistent performance on his part and a rotation that has been better than anyone could have predicted.