Francisco Liriano is doing quite well down at Triple-A Rochester, winning his last seven decisions and sporting a tidy 2.73 ERA and 9.6 strikeouts per inning over his last nine starts. Heck, he even had a 26 2/3 inning scoreless streak that ended last night. The former phenom seems ready to be called up, eh? Not so fast, say the Twins:
"The Twins, winners of 21 of their past 28 games, say they currently do not have room for Liriano in their starting rotation, which consists of right-handers Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Nick Blackburn and Livan Hernandez along with lefty Glen Perkins."
Wait...what? Livan Hernandez is suddenly a better option than Francisco Liriano? The same Livan Hernandez who is 3-4 with a 7.28 ERA since mid-May? The same Livan Hernandez who gives out hits like they're candy (93 hits in his last 55 innings) and tater tots like they're...well...tater tots? Can I write an entire paragraph with only questions?
Liriano's agent, Greg Genske, asked the player's union to file a grievance on behalf of the pitcher. Genske claims the Twins are merely trying to avoid giving Liriano major league service time which would prevent him from qualifying for salary arbitration after this season and delay his free agency.
Twins general manager Bill Smith, however, thinks the team is doing just peachy and promises they'll bring him up sometime before the season ends. Heck, the Twins are just 1.5 games behind the White Sox and their offense is actually above average in the American League for the first time in a while. Still, you have to know that Liriano's 97 MPH fastball and wicked slider are better than Livan's 67 MPH fastball and wicked...uh...durability.