Monday, September 17, 2012

Francisco Liriano and the Sox

Francisco Liriano delivers Saturday in a
familiar setting but an unfamiliar uniform.
A day or so after the Chicago White Sox traded for Francisco Liriano, Sox general manager Kenny Williams said that the organization, and specifically pitching coach Don Cooper, "(sees) some things from (Liriano) we think immediately will show some better results."

From this distance, it appears that something was: Pitch him against the Twins.

Liriano has had two starts against the Twins since the trade; 1-0, 2.77, with 17 strikeouts and 11 baserunners in 13 innings. On Saturday he made a short-notice start and threw seven one-hit innings against his old mates.

Against everybody else since coming to the South Side, Liriano is 2-1, 5.97. He had pitched his way out of the Chicago rotation, just as he had early in the year with the Twins.

Liriano was only starting Saturday's game because the first-place White Sox got rained out of a Thursday game with the second-place Detroit Tigers and the game is to be made up today. The weather washed out a mano-a-mano matchup between Chris Sale and Justin Verlander; the two aces pitched Friday instead, making each unavailable for today's makeup.

The Sox chose to push rookie Jose Quintana, originally scheduled to start Saturday, back a couple of days to face the Tigers. (He'll be opposed by Doug Fister.)

That backdrop — Liriano losing his rotation spot, the rainout in a crucial series, the reshuffled rotation to have Quintana face the team Chicago has to beat — made ridiculous Dan Gladden's analysis of the White Sox' likely playoff rotation.

Sale and Jake Peavy are the obvious top two guys, but then, proclaimed the Twins radio broadcaster during Saturday's game, it's got to be Liriano. How about Quintana, prodded Cory Provus. "Too young," said Gladden.

Quintana is young (23) and inexperienced, and the White Sox have handled him rather gingerly of late. He's also more reliable than Liriano, which is why he's getting the ball today.

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