The Twins dealt pitcher Francisco Liriano to the White Sox on Saturday, just in time for him to return to Minneapolis for three games beginning tonight. It sounds like he will take the mound against the Twins tomorrow night. Which Frankie will that be? The commanding strikeout maniac or the unsure hurler with no control of his pitches? Your guess is as good as mine.
By all accounts Liriano has been a good teammate in the clubhouse and an all-around nice guy. When he is on his game he is an outstanding pitcher, I've seen it myself on more than one occasion. He has also been frustratingly erratic, not only from start to start, but even within games.
Given the start in the first playoff game at Target Field in the 2010 ALDS, Liriano got through the first 5.1 innings without giving up a run to the Yankees before suddenly melting down and coughing up four runs and the lead. It was disappointing, but not exactly a shock. There were too many other games just like that.
I've been hard on Liriano in the past for his inconsistency, but it was nothing personal. The White Sox management seems to think they have a few ideas on how to help him become more consistent and for Francisco's sake I hope they are right and he moves on to have the career to match his physical talents. And that's despite the fact that it would benefit the already typically insufferable White Sox fans out there. The things I have to put up with to be a nice guy. ;)