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Francisco Liriano

Minnesota Twins — No. 47
Starting pitcher
Born: October 26, 1983 (1983-10-26) (age 26)
San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic
Bats: Left Throws: Left 
MLB debut
September 5, 2005 for the Minnesota Twins
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     24-22
Earned run average     4.16
Strikeouts     366

Francisco Casillas Liriano (born October 26, 1983, in Juan Barón, San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic) is a left-handed Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins.


Professional career

Liriano was traded by the San Francisco Giants along with closer Joe Nathan and starter Boof Bonser in exchange for catcher A. J. Pierzynski (now of the Chicago White Sox). Pierzynski was released after just one season with the Giants. Often compared to former teammate Johan Santana, another hard-throwing lefty, Liriano was touted as one of the "super-prospects" within the Minnesota Twins organization. In 2005, he led all minor league pitchers in strikeouts, with 204.[1]

He made his major league debut in relief on September 5, 2005, against the Texas Rangers. He later joined the Twins' starting rotation and won his first game on September 30, 2005, against the Detroit Tigers. Liriano started the 2006 season in Minnesota's bullpen, but was promoted to the starting rotation in May, exchanging positions with struggling starter Carlos Silva. He won each of his first three starts.



After a 12-3 start to the 2006 season, which included two Rookie of the Month nods and a spot on the American League All-Star roster, Liriano led the Major Leagues with a 2.19 ERA, statistics putting him in discussion for both the American League Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards, but a trip to the disabled list on August 11 left him with too few innings to qualify as the league's official ERA leader and jeopardized his chances at any such awards in 2006. On August 1, 2006, Liriano was scratched from his scheduled August 2 start because of forearm inflammation after a bullpen session. [1] He missed one start before resuming bullpen work without pain, but was placed on the disabled list after continued arm pain during his last start on August 7, 2006. Liriano began a rehabilitation program on August 22, and threw off a mound for the first time on August 30, throwing only his fastball and changeup, and said that he would like to pitch his breaking ball later that week. Liriano made a rehab start for the Rochester Red Wings on September 9, throwing 40 pitches for four strikeouts and one walk in three shutout, hitless innings. After the game, Liriano reported feeling no pain in his elbow and was reactivated by the Twins. On September 13, 2006, Liriano started for the Minnesota Twins in an afternoon game vs. the Oakland Athletics and went two-plus innings before leaving the game in the third inning with pain in his left elbow, ending his 2006 campaign.

On November 6, 2006, Liriano underwent Tommy John surgery to curtail the pain in his left elbow. Liriano missed the entire 2007 season.


On April 11, 2008, Liriano was recalled from Triple-A Rochester in the place of injured pitcher Kevin Slowey. Liriano made his season debut and his first game since Tommy John surgery on April 13, against the Royals. Liriano pitched 4.2 innings giving up six hits, four earned runs and walking five while picking up a loss.

On April 25, 2008, Liriano was sent back to the minors after a rough start to the season coming of Tommy John surgery. In three starts, he compiled an 0-3 record with an 11.32 ERA.

After recording an ERA of 2.67 and going 10-0 in his 11 most recent minor league starts, the Twins recalled Liriano on August 1, 2008, from Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, replacing Livan Hernandez in the rotation. Hernandez was designated for assignment.[2] In his first start after being recalled, Liriano pitched six scoreless innings and struck out five, recording the win.[3] He then went 3-0 in his first three starts with a 1.45 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 18 2/3 innings.


Personal life

Liriano's arrival in the United States for 2008 Spring Training was delayed due to visa problems caused by a prior drunk driving arrest in 2006.[5] Francisco and Johanna Liriano became parents on April 4, 2008. Their boy, Kevin Liriano, weighed 9 pounds, 7 ounces.[6]

Pitching style

Prior to undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery late in the 2006 season, his fastball was often in the mid to high 90s. Since returning from Tommy John surgery his fastball has dropped a bit in velocity, typically ranging from the high 80s to low 90s, occasionally as high as 94. He throws a slider with less movement and velocity, as well as an occasional breaking ball in the mid 70s. He can no longer utilize his slider as an out pitch because of the loss of movement and velocity. He has had to turn to hitting the corners with his fastball and changing pitch speed.


External links


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