Francisco Liriano And Some Twinkie Talk Publicity

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I still am mildly skeptical about Liriano, but there is no way you can not be just a little bit excited if you are a Twins fan about his performance this winter. Last night, in the final game of the championship series of the Dominican Winter League, Liriano threw 5 scoreless innings, striking out 10 and walking just 1. In the playoffs, Liriano went 3-1 with a .49 ERA and struck out 47 batters in 37 innings.

Stats-wise, it is nice but I wouldn’t get too excited. Many of the lineups in the DWL are prospects, marginal major leaguers, and also-rans. So it’s great that he put up good numbers, but it’s even better how he did it. Liriano was throwing upwards of 96 mph, and sat in the 93 mph range, all while throwing a slider that hit upper 80s. The slider is not as wicked as it was in 2006, but it is almost all the way there.

Is Liriano going to be the guy he was in 2006? No. That much I am 100% certain. Could he be 90% of that guy? Probably not. 80%? I could see it. And, honestly, 80% of what he was in 2006 is still an ace level pitcher, and one that takes the Twins from AL Central favorites to legitimate World Series contenders. It’s time to get excited, fans.

As far as the publicity goes, the Yahoo! blog Big League Stew is doing something called the Blogbook, which is basically a directory of blogs for all 30 MLB teams, as well as (I believe) some general ones as well. Yesterday was the Twins turn, and somehow I made the highly selective cut, which consisted of being able to submit the information for your blog correctly. Whew. You can see all the other blogs here

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