After a convincing outing against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday, Francisco Liriano has (unofficially) landed the Twins' fifth rotation spot.
The left-hander allowed just three hits and struck out eight over six shutout innings, throwing 83 pitches on the afternoon. Then, he went and spilled the beans about being chosen as the club's fifth starter, saying that he's been informed that he will make his first start of the 2010 season against the White Sox in Chicago on April 9th.
"I was very happy with it," he said. "I want to be a starter and they give me the chance. I just can't wait to go out there and do my job."
I like that confidence. Liriano went on to say that he will stick around Fort Myers to pitch in a minor league game on Sunday before catching up with the team in Anaheim for their opening series against the Los Angeles Angels. This Spring, the 26-year-old posted a 2-0 record with a 2.70 ERA in six appearances, including five starts. He surrendered five walks over 20 innings and fanned 30 guys in all.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said the Twins hadn't officially made him their fifth starter, but that he was "the leading candidate and throwing it better than anyone else." However, pitching coach Rick Anderson confirmed Liriano's premature announcement.
Do you agree with the team's choice? If not, who would you have pitch in his place every fifth game?
Also, what are your thoughts on this whole closer-by-committee situation?