White Sox see things that 'will show some better results' for Liriano
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins traded Francisco Liriano in large part because they didn't trust him enough to offer a long-term contract extension.
The Chicago White Sox, on the other hand, think they might be able to help Liriano be more consistent.
"We saw some things from (Liriano) we think immediately will show some better results," White Sox general manager Kenny Williams said in a conference call Sunday.
"He's got some of the best stuff in the league, and has had for quite some time. All we're asking him right now throw strikes. ...
"(Pitching coach) Don Cooper has got a little bit of wisdom that he thinks he can impart to (Liriano). But we're going to keep it simple."
The White Sox would know better than any team what they have acquired in Liriano, who threw a no-hitter at U.S. Cellular Field on May 3, 2011 and 15 months later allowed seven earned runs in 2 2/3 innings in the same ballpark in his final start as a Twin.
Prior to that clunker, Liriano struck out 25 batters over 14 innings in two starts.
Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson worked more closely with Liriano than perhaps any other pitcher over the past seven years.
"See all this gray hair? It's frustrating," Anderson said when asked if Liriano's inconsistencies have taken a toll on him as a pitching coach. "You want the kid to do well. If the kid does well, then we do well. It'd get frustrating, because you would see it. We would have times where we'd bring Joe Mauer down to the 'pen. I'd say, 'Why don't you watch this pen and tell me what you see?' And Joe says, 'Man, if he brings that into the game that's pretty good.' So it got frustrating, but I know he was more frustrated than we were."
"You heard me say many times, his bullpens have been outstanding. It's just carrying it into a game," Anderson added. "You've seen lately he's done a lot better job of that. So sometimes pitchers take a little longer to figure it out, and hopefully he does some day because we love Frankie as a person, the way he works and everything, and we wish nothing but the best for him."
Liriano's average fastball velocity this season is 93 mph, which is close to where it was during his post-surgery resurgence in 2010.
Heading into Sunday's games, no starting pitcher has induced more swings and misses than Liriano, who generates whiffs on 31% of opponents' swings.