Skip to main content
Publish date:

The Twins and Francisco Liriano should reunite

The bullpen could certainly use him.

In the words of the of the great Michael Scott, "It takes a big man, to admit his mistake, and I am that big man."

During spring training, I profiled the Twins' bullpen being a unit of strength for the team this year. Well, I was wrong. Very, very wrong. Trevor Hildenberger was sent to Triple-A, Adalberto Mejia was a disaster, Fernando Romero isn't what the Twins hoped he'd be yet, Addison Reed is collapsing in on himself like a dying star in the minors and Trevor May and Blake Parker have been adequate relievers at best.

Outside of Taylor Rogers, no one in the bullpen has been reliable in terms of getting big-time outs and the Twins need to address this sooner rather than later.

Although Minnesota's new regime of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine weren't around when he was here, former Twins lefty Francisco Liriano is an ideal candidate they should target.

Liriano is in his second stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but this time as a full-time reliever. In 18 games this season, Liriano has allowed one run in 19 innings with 22 strikeouts, eight walks and a WHIP of 1.105

Opponents are hitting just .183 against him and he's striking out 27.9% of the batters he's faced. He's easily been on the best relievers in baseball this season.

The southpaw has a fastball that still hovers around 92.7 mph, and his slider is still just as devastating as it was when he became an All-Star with the Twins in 2006. 

Jumping from the National League shouldn't be much of an issue for him either, as he's spent the bulk of his career pitching in the American League.

At 35, Lirano is no stranger to the trade deadline, having been moved three times during his career. He was part of the 2016 Blue Jays squad that reached the ALCS and he was a member of the 2017 Astros team that won the World Series.

So he has postseason experience, which would be a welcomed addition to a Minnesota unit that hasn't been there.

Liriano signed with the Pirates on a minor-league deal in the offseason and earned a job out of spring training. The Pirates are two games over .500 in a crowded National League Central division where they sit in fourth place.

They might not be ready to sell right this second, but that division looks to belong to the Cardinals and Brewers as the season progresses.

Although good relievers are hard to come by, given his age and where the Pirates are at right now, it's unlikely Pittsburgh would ask the moon and stars in return for Liriano.

Thankfully, the Twins' offense and even their starting pitching has kept them in games through the first quarter of the season, but it's obvious they need help in the bullpen.

They nearly blew a four-run lead in the top of the ninth to the Angels on Wednesday. Even with the Twins enjoying a 4 1/2-game lead on the Indians in the division, those are games they can't let slip away.

Liriano certainly isn't Josh Hader or Aroldis Chapman, but he's a competent veteran reliever that would immediately bolster the bullpen.

Next Up

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.

Eric Kendricks

Vikings downgrade Eric Kendricks to out against Lions

The Vikings have also activated Michael Pierce from injured reserve.

u.s. attorney

Minnesotan sentenced after assaulting man with baseball bat

Marshall Wayne Boshey was sentenced to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.

Target store

Target's gift card discount is back, but for this weekend only

The fine print: for Target Circle members only (but membership is free).

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

Minneapolis teen arrested in St. Cloud after fleeing police in stolen vehicle

The vehicle was stolen in a car-jacking in Minneapolis Thursday.

snow, blowing snow

Winter storm warnings issued with heavy snow set to slam MN

Parts of northern Minnesota could see more than a foot of snow, but there won't be much in the Twin Cities.

D'Angelo Russell

With KAT out, Timberwolves can't upset Nets

D'Angelo Russell stepped up but couldn't overcome Brooklyn's firepower.

Everson Griffen Vikings dot com

Everson Griffen confirms he has bipolar disorder

"I’ve been running from it a long time. I’m not ashamed of it anymore.”

Angela Renee Jones, St. Cloud murder suspect

St. Cloud suspect now charged in two local murder cases

Both murders happened within a day of each other in June.

Related

Rocco Baldelli

With World Series window open, Twins need to address bullpen

It's time for the Twins to strengthen their bullpen.

Should Pat Neshek and the Twins reunite?

Neshek played for the Twins from 2002-2010.

Should Pat Neshek and the Twins reunite?

Neshek played for the Twins from 2002-2010.

Blake Snell

Why the Twins should consider trading for Blake Snell

Snell is one year removed from a Cy Young season.

Francisco Liriano set to start Tuesday against the Angels

The left-hander threw about 70 pitches during a bullpen session Saturday. Liriano was pulled from his last scheduled start to give him time to regain his confidence. He'll go for his first win of the season on May 1 in Anaheim.

Kirby Yates

6 targets the Twins should trade for by the deadline

Minnesota needs bullpen and starting pitching help.