La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Liriano making adjustments as Twins hit Baltimore

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 18, 2011 - 12:54 PM

 

One adjustment Francisco Liriano is making right now is that he's no longer moving from side-to-side on the pitching rubber. For lefties, he would line up on the left, where he felt his sinker was more effective. For righties, he would line up on the right side of the rubber, which he felt helped him pitch inside more.

Over the course of two bullpen sessions-plus his start on Wednesday against the Royals, Liriano has stayed around the middle of the slab.

``I've been working on it and I think it will help,'' he said.

Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson feels staying at one spot on the mound - which most pitchers do - will help Liriano settle down. Andy feels Liriano gets so wound up over strikeouts that throws too many sliders and  doesn't execute like he can.

``Pitching is consistency,'' Anderson said. ``Let's go to being consistent, where you are on the rubber and see if we can be consistent where you are at throughout the game.''

Liriano gave up seven runs over five innings on eight hits and one walk on Wednesday against the Royals. But the Twins felt he made some progress. Let's see what step he takes tonight.

Jim Hoey should be in uniform tonight. Should be interesting to see how much of an impact he makes.

According to those who saw him at Rochester, Hoey hit 98 on the radar gun but wild pitched the tying run home in one game last week and hit a batter with the bases loaded in another.

I'm guessing that  Justin Morneau will be back in the lineup today after being sick yesterday. I never saw him in the clubhouse yesterday. Based on what I heard, I probably didn't want to see him. Hopefully for Morneau and the Twins, it's a one-day illness.

At least Gardy doesn't have to worry about giving Morneau a day off now. 

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