The Twins decided yesterday that Francisco Liriano will skip his next start and throw two bullpen sessions before returning to the rotation on May 1. Obviously, this is not a huge surprise. It remains to be seen whether this is enough to help him return to form.
Several writers have taken on this topic late yesterday and today. So far, I found ᔥ Phil Mackey‘s write-up the most interesting. His mixture of quotes and use of stats paints a pretty good picture of what is going on.
The only thing I would add to the mix is what I have written about previously, the issue of communication. In and around his mechanical issues and mental approach, I believe he could benefit from a coach or manager who is fluent in Spanish. It’s not going to happen anytime soon, but with some of the great Latin talent in lower-minors of the Twins organization, it might be wise for them to consider hiring such a coach sooner rather than later. In fact, I think there are times when Alexi Casilla would benefit from some coaching in his native language as well.
Back to Liriano, I am not optimistic about his being able to get it together. At his age, 28, he should be able to self-diagnose and self-correct by making in-game adjustments. He keeps saying he has not lost his confidence, but the evidence is otherwise and not being able to admit it to himself may be exacerbating the mental problems. We all have no choice but to wait and see how things develop over the next few weeks even as the Twins need someone to step up and lead the rotation.
Even though my favorite color is blue, I don’t plan on holding my breath for a super positive result.