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Mouthpiece: Twins could use Liriano

With the Minnesota Twins starved for high-end pitching, it's tough to see what Francisco Liriano is doing now for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Liriano, who pitched from 2005 until 2012 for the Twins before the team gave up on him due to inconsistency, is 6-3 with the Pirates with a slick 2.30 ERA. He's coming off a 6-1 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Liriano always showed the possibility of being a staff's ace. In 2006, before hurting his elbow, he was 12-3 with a tiny 2.16 ERA. Liriano had dazzling stuff, but had a habit of getting hit hard in the late innings and walked too many. That is why Minnesota traded him in 2012.

But now look. The 29-year-old Dominican has 61 strikeouts against 22 walks this season. He's also allowed just two home runs in nine starts.

The Pirates are happy to have him. And had the Twins foreseen this change in Liriano, they'd have been happy to keep him.

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— Pat Ruff

Related Topics: BASEBALL
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