Coach Blames Lack of Conditioning for Liriano’s Shoulder Stiffness

francisco-lirianoSo Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano is dealing with a sore shoulder early in spring training. His coaches are blaming it on him for not sticking to offseason routines.

Via LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

Francisco Liriano’s shoulder problems stem from him not keeping up with strengthening exercises during the offseason.

Liriano threw several bullpen sessions in the weeks leading to the start of camp but came down with tendinitis just before he left his native Dominican Republic for Fort Myers. An MRI done in Miami showed no structural damage.

Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said he asked Liriano whether he did all of his shoulder exercises during the offseason, and Liriano said no.

“He’s been doing them here, and now his shoulder is strong,” Anderson said.

This is not exactly good news for Yankees fans hoping to see their team make a big splash by trading for this guy. It either means he’s lazy or irresponsible. There isn’t much excuse to make for a 27-year-old pitcher who has been in the league for five years and is supposed to be Minnesota’s ace.

Hopefully it is just a lapse in judgment, but if the Yankees are seriously going to consider trading for him this is the type of stuff they look for. Acquiring him would cost a lot of prospects, as there really aren’t many young left-handed pitchers with his stuff.

It’s unlikely that the Yankees would reach a deal for him any time soon though. The soonest it would go down is probably this July. Hopefully between now and then he can prove that he takes his job seriously and the Yankees don’t have to worry about giving up prospects for a question mark.

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12 Responses to Coach Blames Lack of Conditioning for Liriano’s Shoulder Stiffness

  1. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    Liriano has far from proven himself as a top pitcher, let alone remotely durable. There is no reason to go to the prospect bank and use it up for him as he would be very expensive. Not to mention the contract you would have to give him wouldn't make a whole lot of sense IMO with what VERY LITTLE he has proven. He is young which is the one thing going for him.

  2. You can add an amazing 2010 season to the things he has going for him list.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      I'm not sure how one arrives at "amazing" concerning his 2010 campaign but that is a matter of opinion, one which I don't come close to sharing.

  3. buckamania says:

    Something ain't right there. Hardcore Fan hit it right on the nose.

  4. A 26-year-old puts together a season with a 3.62 ERA, a 9.4 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 rates and you don't find that amazing? I would take that from any 26 year old, any year, any time, every time.

    • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

      It's one thing to "take that…any time" but it's still not what most people would call "amazing". Felix's year was AMAZING. Even Price and Sabathia, who had MUCH better years, are not the kind of seasons that most fans would describe as "amazing".

      Was it a good year, absolutely. Was it a very good year, probably though that's very debatable. Was it a great year, not in my opinion. Was it amazing, absolutely not. Bottom line, while this doesn't encompass everything, he had a 115 ERA+. I'm not sure who would really describe that as been amazing or even great. Tons of pitchers do that EVERY year in both leagues.

  5. In baseball history there have been only 20 seasons, fewer than 20 players, who by the age of 26 were able to strikeout at least 200 and walk less than 60. He's up there with names like Koufax, Marichal, Seaver, and Halladay (among other all-time greats). Not bad company. But hey, it was a good year.

    BTW, Price had both a worse strikeout and walk ratio than Liriano did.

  6. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    Yes, it was a good year. Not "amazing" by any means. That kind of superlative is used to describe Koufax in '63, Gooden in '85, Clemens in '86, etc. I can pick and choose stats all day long to make even guys like AJ Burnett seem special. It's not that difficult to give up 60 walks when you're not even throwing 200 innings.

    • You are totally missing the point by arguing semantics. Plus, it's hard to strikeout 200 when you are not throwing 200 innings.

      • Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

        I'm not missing the point or arguing semantics here at all. The kind of players one wants to trade for depends on how good they are, how durable they are, how committed, age, etc. I'm taking all that into account. If Liriano had the exact same career but was indeed "amazing" last year, I would have a much different opinion and a possible trade pursuit of him. That it was only a "good" year makes me extremely inclined not to want to go after him. G

        oing after Lincecum or Felix because they have actually had amazing years is entirely different than a guy who has had ONE "good" full year to his name and has never even pitched 200 innings in one season. It seems that you're the one that is stuck on semantics. The bottom line is that Liriano has far from proven that he is ace, let alone a top flight one, in major league baseball.

  7. Hardcore Yankee Fan says:

    I would definitely be willing to trade for him. It's just a question of what you'd have to give to get him. He's often marketed as an ace though and my thinking is that it would take more to get him than his history would remotely dictate.

  8. David K. says:

    I’ve seen enough that I’d take a chance on Liriano. I’d would not give up Montero and Banuelos under any circumstances. But everyone else in the minors is tradeable.