What's wrong with Francisco Liriano?
Well, he's getting the stuffing beat out of him.
More specifically, he's got a 9.13 ERA and he's walked exactly as many hitters as he's struck out.
Right, but why is Liriano getting the stuffing beat out of him?
He's throwing the same pitches -- fastball, slider, change-up -- that he threw last year, with roughly the same frequency and roughly the same speeds. If he's hurt, nobody seems to have caught on yet.
Could it be something simple? Something mechanical? Maybe. I missed this report from La Velle E. Neal III last weekend, but it's still relevant:
Francisco Liriano met with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson on Friday as the team tries to get the talented-yet-struggling lefthander turned around.
During the meeting, Liriano was shown a breakdown of his pitching motion. It revealed how Liriano's release point has been inconsistent, leading to him being unable to throw the ball where he wants to.
"It is not the answer," Gardenhire said, "but part of it."
Liriano starts against the White Sox tonight in Chicago, not an easy place to pitch (particularly if the White Sox hitters ever wake up). Still, you have to think if Liriano's healthy he'll come around, and sometimes a mechanical adjustment really can make a big difference.
If not, Kevin Slowey's going to find himself back in the Twins' rotation sooner than later.