Friday, April 11, 2008

Francisco Liriano to Start Sunday: FANTASY IMPACT

Minnesota Twins ace in the remaking, Francisco Liriano is being called up to start on Sunday for the injured Kevin Slowey. Liriano will be making his 2008 season debut against the KC Royals, who have come out of the gate swinging and will be a tough match up for the young left hander. The move is a bit of a surprise, considering the Twins could have started Nick Blackburn on regular rest that day, but chose instead to push him back a day and recall Liriano.

FANTASY IMPACT

Liriano is still technically rehabbing from Tommy John surgery, so the Twins will be very careful with his pitch count in this game. In his minor league start Liriano struggled a bit going 9 1/3 giving up 7ER with 11K in two outings. Early indications are he has had trouble spotting his fastball, a problem that could be hidden in the minors, but should be exposed facing major league pitching.

We would avoid starting Liriano out of the box so soon. Let him toss and get a few more starts under his belt, until he establishes consistency and an ability to spot his pitches. The Twins will have him on a pitch count of about 60-70 and if he is struggling he could reach that limit by the 4th or 5th inning at the latest. The other drawback is that right now the Royals are playing good baseball and their pesky offense could cause Liriano a host of trouble.

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