Why is Francisco Liriano in the Minors When the Minnesota Twins Need Him?
There is a situation brewing in Minnesota.
Francisco Liriano has filed a grievance against the Twins, because he believes that they are keeping him in the minors specifically to delay his right to arbitration.
While I have my doubts on this, it does create a messy problem in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Liriano claims that because he is "dominating" his level, he rightfully deserves to be called back up to the major league level.
There can be no doubt that he has dominated. Liriano, in 17 games started in Rochester, has compiled a record of 8-2; that's no small feat, considering the Red Wing offense only scores 4.5 runs a game.
Liriano also has a 3.34 ERA and 1.14 WHIP. If he can put up numbers like those in the big leagues, he is by and far the best pitcher in the rotation.
Liriano has pitched 105 innings during his time with the Red Wings, which is an average of just over six innings per start. He is also averaged just under eight strikeouts and just over 2.5 walks per nine innings pitched. His K/BB ratio is 3.07, and opponents are only batting .237 against him.
I'd say he's ready.
The question then is, are the Twins ready for him? Obviously, Minnesota will have to send somebody else away, preferably a pitcher. Unless a six-man rotation is the plan that pitcher is going to need to be a starter as well.
Unless Liriano doesn't go straight to the rotation. I have said before that I believe Liriano in the bullpen would solve many problems in one sitting. It would not only drastically help the struggling bullpen, but it would allow for a certain Carlos Gomez to be sent down to Rochester.
Gomez has been awful lately. Simply awful. In the month of July Gomez has a batting line of .154/.200/.173 in 12 games. His BAbip for the month of July is .211, but surprisingly enough Gomez's batting line with RISP this year is .315/.390/.425.
When I was looked at his splits, I found this interesting as well. Gomez does not have a hit when facing a 3-0 count. In fact, the only time this year he has been in a 3-0 count he earned a free base, one of the 14 measly walks he has drawn in 2008.
His patience has improved since his move to Minnesota, but not by much. A stint in Rochester would certainly help to clear his brain.
The next question is how long he should be kept with the Red Wings. I wouldn't be opposed to keeping him there for the rest of the season. Should he improve drastically, however, I think Minnesota would be forced to call him back up.
As I stated yesterday, many good things would come from a Gomez assignment. For one thing, Span would be moved to center field. While Gomez's speed and range would be missed (although he has only three steals in the last 28 days), Span makes up for with his bat.
He would immediately move to the lead-off position, where Gomez's .284 OBP would not be missed. Span is getting on base at a .409 clip.
If Liriano is called up and moved to the pen, which I am assured will not happen, four good things would result: One, the bullpen would be less porous. Two, Liriano wouldn't be upset with us anymore. Three, Gomez would get a chance to hone his skills in Rochester. Four, Span would be moved to bat leadoff and would play a much important role.
Thoughts? What do you think should be done with Liriano and Gomez? Leave them below in the form of comments!
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