Saturday, October 8, 2016

Ex-Twins watch: Francisco Liriano

The Toronto infield gathers around Francisco Liriano
after he was hit in the head by a line drive Saturday. Liriano
was removed from the game and taken to a hospital
but cleared to fly with his teammates to Toronto.
It was a frightening moment Saturday when two former Twins teammates faced each other in the eighth inning of Game Two of the Toronto-Texas series. Carlos Gomez smacked a 102-mph line drive off the back of Francisco Liriano's noggin, with the ball flying into center field for a base hit.

Liriano remained on his feet but was pulled from the game, then taken to a hospital by ambulance but was there cleared to fly back to Toronto with the team.

The big lefty was having a difficult season in Pittsburgh when the Pirates traded him to Toronto in a deal that seemed more about dumping his contract than the return.

He went 2-2, 2.92 in 49.1 innings with the Jays, eight starts and two relief outings, then picked up the win in that extra-inning wild card tilt with Baltimore. There had been some chatter leading into that game that Liriano would be a better choice to start than Marcus Stroman, but obviously manager John Gibbons didn't see it that way. 

Liriano is presumably a power arm in the bullpen who can go multiple innings for the postseason, and that's a valuable weapon.

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