Liriano made himself an obvious choice as a September call-up throughout the second half of the Minor League season, and finished the year as the Minor League leader in strikeouts with 204. In 2006, he should fit right into the Twins' rotation, along side fellow Rochester Red Wing Scott Baker.
Liriano had an impressive debut against the Tigers, going five innings, and allowing only two hits. He did give up a two-run home run to Curtis Granderson, but he struck out six, showcasing his blazing fastball and excellent breaking stuff.
The loss squandered the Twins opportunity for a sweep, and they are now eight games back in the Wildcard hunt. They have an off-day on Thursday, but then start a three-game tilt with the White Sox at home on Friday.
With the Twins seemingly out of the playoff race, Manager Ron Gardenhire's decision to give Liriano a start is just at the right time. There is no extreme pressure on him to pick up a win, and to have your first start against the lowly Detroit Tigers is another plus.
While Liriano did not get the win, picking up a no-decision, the Twins should give him at least one more start before the season ends. He is part of their future, and he would be much more comfortable going into Spring Training with a few Major League starts under his belt.
Subscribe to TwinCitiesDugout.com today! Only $79.95 brings you one full year of Total Access Pass and all premium content on TwinCitiesDugout.com, Scout™ Player and Roster Database (including the 'Hot News' at the top of the site), Breaking News and Information, Total Access to all Scout.com Websites (including VikingUpdate.com), and Player Pages, detailing the progress and careers of players from high school, the minors, and the pro ranks.
Sample the TwinCitiesDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at no risk for 7 days, then pay only $7.95 or $21.95. If you want to save 2 months off the monthly subscription price, simply choose the annual TwinCitiesDugout.com Total Access Pass™ at $79.95.