With no-no, Liriano turns over new leaf
On verge of demotion to bullpen, lefty locks down rotation spot
First there was talk that he was headed to the Yankees.Next there was the talk that he was destined for a demotion. Now the talk surrounding Francisco Liriano is about this no-hitter nobody saw coming. Finally -- and unexpectedly -- this is the kind of talk Liriano doesn't mind hearing.
Liriano was the definition of "effectively wild" on Tuesday night at U.S. Cellular Field, walking six and striking out just two but keeping the ball on the ground and making the surprisingly anemic White Sox offense look even more so than usual.From the very beginning of his professional career, Liriano has flashed no-hit potential because of his pure stuff. But the pesky stipulation that no-hitters require the pitcher involved to toss all nine innings prevented him from looking like a true candidate. After all, what transpired Tuesday was Liriano's first complete game. At any level. So, although the no-hitter is deservedly a talking point, the bigger -- and, for the Twins, more encouraging -- development here is the turning point that might have taken place for the 27-year-old Liriano. His release-point issues, inflated ERA and penchant for perfunctory outings had him on the verge of losing his job to Kevin Slowey.
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his columns and his blog, CastroTurf, and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.