"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oh, Bloody Hell...

From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

Francisco Liriano likely is headed to the disabled list after the rookie pitching phenom continued to experience pain near his left elbow during the Twins' 9-3 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Monday night at Comerica Park.

Liriano, forced to leave after four innings, was near tears as he spoke to reporters after the shortest start of his young career. He said he experienced pain in a different muscle near his elbow than he did last week, adding that he is more concerned about his latest setback.

"I couldn't throw my fastball, changeup or slider — everything was bothering me," said Liriano, starting for the first time in 10 days after being skipped in the rotation last week. "I don't know what to say. It's getting worse."

The entire Twins organization could be on the verge of tears as the 22-year-old Liriano's Cy Young-worthy season is in limbo. In the worst-case scenario, injuries such as this have led to Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery. But the medical staff is optimistic the injury is not that serious.

Perhaps an encouraging sign for the Twins is that Liriano's velocity was up Monday. His fastball was clocked on the stadium radar between 94-97 mph. Liriano, who gave up four runs on 10 hits, is scheduled to be evaluated by team physician Dr. Dan Buss after the Twins return from the road trip later this week.

"We're not going to take any chances with him," manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Veteran pitcher Carlos Silva spent a few minutes after the game talking quietly with Liriano as he dressed at his locker stall. Silva said he told Liriano not to risk his promising future by trying to pitch through pain.

"He needs to be a hero for a long time — not a hero for just one year," Silva said.

Sigh. Take care of yourself, 'Cisco. Silva's right. One season isn't worth risking a career, especially when that season's chances are on the slim side anyway.

2 p.m. update:
Matt Garza (a product of the 2005 draft!) has been called up from AAA Rochester and may start for the Twins Friday at Minnesota versus the Blue Jays. Mike Smith has been sent down. Still no further word on Liriano's condition.

6 p.m. update:
Fox Sports Net is reporting that Liriano has been placed on the DL and that either Baker or Bonser will be recalled in his place. No official announcement on the Twins site as of yet.

1 rejoinders:

Fourth pew, center sounded off...

Well, #@%*!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!