Liriano Is Frontrunner For Fifth Starter Spot

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed what most of us had already figured out.

Gardenhire said Thursday that Francisco Liriano is in the driver’s seat for the fifth starter’s spot in the Twins rotation.

About a week ago, Gardy suggested that Liriano was the best candidate for the closer’s job, but it appears the Twins will give him one more chance as a starter first.

I think this makes a lot of sense. As bad as the Twins might think they could use a closer, I’d rather have another effective starter. And his main competition for the starter’s spot – Brian Duensing and Glen Perkins – haven’t exactly set the world on fire this spring, though Duensing had a solid outing on Thursday.

Liriano struggled last season, but this spring he’s tossed 14 innings, allowing six earned runs on 16 hits while striking out 22 and walking just 2. Spring stats are just spring stats, but the walk number itself should be enough to give him one more chance in the rotation.