Saturday, March 29, 2008

Tying Up the Rotation

Wow, a Saturday post! It's been a while since I've done one of these. Those who have read this blog for any length of time are no doubt aware that in the past we have always posted on weekends during the season, which makes us distinct from a lot of other Twins blogs out there. Since I'm pretty much going it alone these days with Mosvick doing his thing in Virginia, I can't promise that the seven-days-a-week updates will continue; however, I'll do my best.

Francisco Liriano made his final start of spring training yesterday, and the results were encouraging. Over five innings, Liriano allowed just one run (a solo homer by Jose Bautista) on three hits while walking two and striking out seven. Phil Miller's account of Liriano's outing makes it sound like the pitcher wasn't as strong as the numbers indicate -- some command issues and a number of hard-hit outs -- but the strikeout total and the low pitch count (74 pitches) certainly give cause for optimism.

Despite his strong outing, Liriano is headed to the minors to open the season. He will pitch in the warm weather of Ft. Myers next Thursday before heading to Rochester to make a start and then hopefully joining the Twins if all goes well. It's hard to fault the Twins for playing it cautious here; missing a few starts from Liriano is hardly the end of the world and Nick Blackburn's performance this spring gives reason to believe he can fill in more than adequately.

Here are the pitching match-ups for the Angels series, per La Velle:


Monday, Mar. 31: Livan Hernandez vs. Jared Weaver
Tuesday, Apr. 1: Boof Bonser vs Jon Garland
Wednesday, Apr. 2: Nick Blackburn vs Joe Saunders
Thursday, Apr. 3: Kevin Slowey vs Ervin Santana

4 comments:

p2 said...

A change of topic: The infield long term

It appears the Pirates are rebuilding (but, aren't they always) and they want to move some notable players including short stop Jack Wilson. Any thoughts on the Twins making a move for an established middle infielder (that can hit). If this team is a 2 years away from competing, do we really want Trevor Plouffe anchoring the infield?

Here is quote: "The Pirates' new management has made clear its plan to trade experienced players for prospects in an attempt to restock the minor-league system. The five most likely candidates to go are Jason Bay, Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte, Matt Morris and Jack Wilson."

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Nick N. said...

I'm not of the belief that the Twins need any more middle infielders right now.

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