Liriano's looking good two starts in
A few weeks ago I posted an article suggesting Liriano's 2012 success was very dependent on his fastball. The biggest difference between 2010 and 2011 was that (1) his velocity was down and (2) his control was off. Mechanical glitches and injuries were held responsible for the decline. His winter league did not hold too much promise that he had corrected any of this as his velocity was sub-90 and his command was well off base (walking 16 in 24 innings in the Dominican). However, after his second start of the spring, things are looking much better for his potential. Check out Joe Christensen's report:
Again, to me, his fastball is the catalyst and foundation. If he's unable to throw it well, it does not matter how good his slider is. Knowing that it was between 91-and-95 and thrown regularly, that is a big step in the right direction.
Liriano didn't notch as many strikeouts Thursday -- just five -- but using a fastball that scouts clocked between 91 and 95 miles per hour, he held the Rays to one hit over three scoreless innings in a 1-0 loss at Hammond Stadium.
"I'd say that's a pretty good day," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He only threw four sliders in 34 pitches. He controlled the game out there."