Nate’s Notes: Liriano, Dozier, Komatsu, DeVries


Good morning, Twins fans. Our favorite team now sits at 7-21. There has to be some sort of bright side to suffering through all this losing; I’ll try to write a post about it sometime soon.

Francisco Liriano was not a bright side yesterday. Once again, Liriano seems to have done the absolute minimum necessary to keep his job. He managed to make it through five innings but again yielded four runs. He also issued three more bases on balls, which brings his season total to 19 walks in 26.2 innings pitched. The only inning where Liriano looked good on the mound was the second. In that inning, Liriano struck out Mark Trumbo and Howie Kendrick with a couple of his best sliders. Then Vernon Wells worked out a long at bat before hitting an infield single, so even that inning was not completely encouraging. All in all, Liriano has been the most consistent starter for the Twins. In every one of his starts, he has allowed either four or five runs, and he has pitched either four or five innings in all but two. And aside from his first start against Baltimore, Liriano has at least three walks in each of those short starts.

Say what you will about the Twins, but you can’t say they aren’t stubborn. Ron Gardenhire stated that they are going to “keep running [Liriano] out there.” I guess they’re trying to prove some sort of point, but I’m not sure what it is.

Two new Twins got their first hits with the team yesterday. New acquisition Erik Komatsu actually earned a pair of them after going hitless in six at bats at Seattle. His first hit in the third inning mercifully ended all the speculation that Weaver might throw another no-hitter. Maybe it’s crazy, but Komatsu just might have the potential to be a fan-favorite on this sorry team. He plays with a rookie’s energy, he seems to know how to get on base (though that skill might take time to develop at the MLB level), and he has an interesting side gig as a musician. Also, he played the song “Fight for Your Right (to Party) as his walk-up tune yesterday. That decision was presumably an homage to recently-deceased Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, and it should help make him popular among lovers of Generation X music.

Dozier’s already a fan favorite by virtue of succeeding in the minor leagues for a team that is terrible at the Major League level. He flied out a couple of times and grounded out in his first three at bats, but he lined a single in the eighth, long after any sensible person (including this writer) had stopped watching the awful game. Dozier also displayed some impressive range at shortstop by making an impressive play on a gounder. If, like this writer, you turned off the television long before that play happened, you can watch it here.

Finally, Rochester pitcher Cole DeVries has been on a tear this season. Since his 2008 season at Fort Myers, the former Gopher has never put up any sort of impressive numbers. But through five starts in 2012, DeVries has a 2.89 ERA and 27 strikeouts in 28 innings. At 27 years old, DeVries is a big longshot to ever become a regular starter in MLB. But given that the Twins have only one competent starting pitcher on the MLB club (Carl Pavano), and that the team has no chance of being competitive this year, they have nothing to lose by calling DeVries up and giving him a chance to start a few games.