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Lirano Should Move to the Bullpen

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This has been a few years in the making, and until now I have been completely against it because his value as a starter seemed so immense when he was on, but now it is time to move Francisco Liriano to the bullpen.

Here are the reasons:

1. Aside from 2010, he has been marginally good to pretty bad as a starter for the past 4+ seasons.
2. Starters who move to the bullpen generally throw harder given that they are amped up for one or two innings as opposed to 6-9.
3. Given 2, a 94-95 mph fastball coupled with a very good slider and good changeup would be devastating in high leverage situations.
4. The Twins have an issue with the entire pitching staff and a great shaking up is needed.
5. A Duensing-Liriano-Perkins LH bullpen provides great depth and situational value, (esp. in the playoffs which is where the Twins will be by 2013 if they make this move).
6. Given 5, either Liriano or Perkins will emerge as the closer by the beginning of 2013 at the latest (the other will be the lefty setup man).
7. Money. Moving Liriano immediately to the bullpen is going to make him cheaper to sign. Maybe he will be totally pissed and not want to play for the Twins . . . but then the Twins can given him more money (for his role, but along the lines of this year's salary) if this works out as expected (Perkins is signed already).
8. The guy has talent but loses his head when starting. Something is visibly amiss. There is little reason to think that he won't be fairly dominant in this role.
9. Given 8, let's remember something: Liriano in 2006 was fantastic . . . starting the season as a reliever and dominating. That confidence after dominating meant something for him as a starter. That confidence was shattered with his injury. This is the last chance to get that confidence and dominance back.
10. I doubt the trade value is going to be on the Twins' side. No selling low of Francisco Liriano is acceptable.

Hopefully this starts a good discussion.
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  1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
    I have been saying this for the last two seasons. Liriano is a relief pitcher not a starter. I think in two years he could be the closer with Perkins as set up.

    Put Liriano in the pen now and give Swarzek and Hendricks the ball every 5th day and maybe Duensing too.
  2. stringer bell's Avatar
    I agree that Liriano should go to the bullpen but I don't think or expect that he will become a dominant reliever. It doesn't make sense that a guy who has seemed to melt under the pressure in the early innings would have the mental makeup to succeed in late innings with high leverage. Liriano has often shown great stuff, but he hasn't produced. Perhaps a trip to the bullpen will help him find what works again and be an effective pitcher.
  3. John Bonnes's Avatar
    I was wondering the same thing. I'd love to see you start this as a topic in the forum.
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