Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Liriano Conundrum

By TwinsWin83

This is not so much a post as it is a question posed to AH!'s dedicated readers. Francisco Liriano is ripping up AAA Rochester right now and sooner or later the question as to what to do with him is going to explode on the Minnesota sports scene. So what does the Minnesota ballclub do? The Twins have 4, maybe 5 (depending on your definition of success), starters that are throwing well on a team that is making a suprising run at the AL Central title.

Does the team bring this phenom, a talent that ignited the imagination of Twins faithful and baseball fans across the country two years ago with his dynamic slider and sneaky-quick fastball, back up to majors? Should the Twins bring back the same pitcher who put together a +11 ERA in his three major league appearances earlier this season?

It isn’t a secret that things are going well in the Twins camp right now, but at what point does the organization realize this might not be a season long hot-streak the team is currently on and make a move to improve a surprising and overachieving starting rotation in the long run?

The Twins might be hot right now but youth does burn out at some point in a 162 game schedule, (look at the Rays right now) so the move right now needs to be to bring the best possible pitcher into the rotation at this exact point. The logical choice to leave the rotation in favor of Liriano might be Livan to most casual fans, but it might not be that simple. He does create some amount of leadership among the staff, (as the only one above the age of 26) and has won a team-high 9 games this season.

So what to do? Lariano is ready. Period. Look at his stats. And science would tell us he is about ready as well. He is now a year and a half removed from his Tommy John surgery which is the point most experts would say is close to the time when a pitcher starts to find his true form again.

So once again I ask you as AH! fans to play the role of Twins GM and tell us what your move would be in this situation.

It’s fun to play this role when the Twins are winning as opposed to when they are tanking isn’t it?


Daymonster said...

Ah, the rare Saturday post. I couldn't decide if I should show my loser-ness and comment on a Saturday night, but oh well.

I think the Twins should bring him up sooner rather than later. He is looking like the liriano we know and love.

Of course the popular opinion is to do something with Livan, not because it's the easy thing to say, but because it's the abosolutely right thing to do.

If any of the other Twins starters had gotten the run support (5.67 runs/game) Livan has recieved they would be as follows.

Baker 7-0 (currently 5-2)
Slowy 9-3 (currently 6-6)
Blackburn 10-1 (currently 7-4)

I don't buy into the olderly pitcher idea at all. The fact that he has the most wins doesn't mean anything to me, because he also has the highest ERA.

TwinsWin83 said...

If you commenting on a saturday post makes you a loser what does that make me for writing the saturday post?

Daymonster said...


Trade Livan for a decent set up man in some sort of deal. Demote Bass/include him in the trade. Bring up lirano.

Twins win world series in 2008.

NFLDTwinsGopherFan said...

I think that it might be wise to wait until after the All-Star break to bring him up. I think the run the Twins have got going on here could be torched by the break. It has happened in the past, and now without Johan who was money from the break on in previous years, I think the break might throw a kink in this streak. So, you bring Liriano up after the break and use him as your go-to 8th inning guy to start up with (the 8th inning has killed us as of late) and work him into the rotation. I think the Twins are getting consistant starts out of the young arms they have now and you dont want to mess that up. I think Slowey might be breaking down a bit and could be replaced my Liriano sooner rather than later.

NFLDTwinsGopherFan said...

... then again I do think Livan could be traded but he does bring some "veteran" experience that may help the younger guys out, maybe throw him in the pen? I think that Livan should be traded for a bat, possibly a third basemen. Either way I see Liriano up with the squad within the week following the break.

haasertime said...

i often find myself towing the twins company line. This situation is no different. Leave him down there til he gets absolutly positively without a doubt super duper very ready to pitch in a pennant race.

of couse, i usually tow the company line cuz i know they wont listen to anyway else. its no fun being a opinionated yet frustrated fan...

They will NOT bring up liriano for at least 2.5 weeks. I have no problem with that.

soup said...

I think Twins fans have been spoiled by a dominant pen the last few years. Despite its recent struggles, it's probably still above average. The failures are amplified by contrasting them to the dominance of the last few years.

That's going to make trading for a set-up guy difficult. There are a number of contending teams that are more desperate to improve their bullies and willing to give up more.

With that being said, it would be a huge message to the team and the fans if they made a play for a guy like Damaso Marte. Then demote bass (and breslow when Cuddy comes back to keep span up.) It would take a prospect to get a decent set up man. Only contending teams would want Livan in a trade and contending teams are also not going to trade away their bullpens.

wait, what were we talking about again? Oh yeah, Liriano. I'm in no hurry to bring him up. Trade Livan soon and then bring him up.

Doofus said...

Leave the rotation alone. Liriano is the 6th starter.

Someone will get hurt/ tired/ or ineffective at some point. Then Liriano can be brought up.

Keep Bass drop Bonser. Bonser has more talent it seems. But it isn't working out in Minnesota. At all. Not even as the mop up man. A change of scenery will do him good and the roster spot will do us good if we can go out and get a setup reliever.

TwinsWin83 said...

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth when I saw Brian Bass coming into the game in the 8th inning of a one run game.

What? Was Willie Eyre not available?

haasertime said...

willie freakin eyre.. haha

one thing to remember about Bass is that he's just a rookie, but he's out of options. another team could claim him if we sent him to the minors. same with breslow, same with boof.

The Boof would be working things out at AAA if we could get him there.

Guerrier will just have to be the guy until Neshek comes back. When is he coming back anyway?

Daymonster said...

If we get rid of The Boof, then I can't talk about the AJ Trade as much. I don't like that.

Holmer said...

Monster, yes you can! Him leaving us is one of the best things he'll do for us, at least today's Boof. He came, we got what we could out of him, now its time for him to go.

It is as simple as putting the best starting pitchers you have in the rotation. Is Liriano in the top five? If so, he should be on a plane later this week to join the Twins in Minneapolis on Thursday.
Causing either someone to move to the pen, or we could see if the Ankiel effect could happen to Slowey and throw him out in center field.

If not, then just let him keep dominating the minors for no particular reason.

Whatever they do, it will be tough to mix up our dominating starts as of late, and take one of those guys out of there. I don't think Ron is mean enough. We might see that 6 man rotation. It would help minimize wear n' tear. We'll see.