All the Twins talk around the Minnesota airwaves today has been about Francisco Liriano and how he took a step forward after last night's 4-0 loss against the Angels. He gave up back to back bombs and Torii Hunter ate him up all game but, all-in-all, but he held his composure and didn't look to bad, right? I say WRONG! Being only a former college pitcher, I certainly don't have major league experience, however, I do know when I see extremely poor mechanics.
That is what I see with Liriano and I don't care what Roy Smalley was saying last night about his controlled delivery, he still makes my arm hurt just by watching him. He doesn't keep his weight back. His elbow dips below his shoulder. He lands on the heal of his foot which causes him to spin after he throws. His arm action and angles are extremely inconsistent - sometimes nice and easy, but most of the time violent.
He threw an amazing slider during the game and struck the batter out (can't remember who it was because I was so enthralled with Liriano's pitching motion) but I could tell by the motion that it hurt his arm. He even shook his arm afterwards - the universal sign for any pitcher who just nearly left his arm on the ground.
Long story short, Liriano just does not have the mechanical aptitude, much less intestinal fortitude, to be a big league pitcher over the long run. Unless the powers-that-be don't explore a dramatic change in his mechanics, he won't ever be an effective pitcher over the course of a regular season. I am slightly encouraged by his poise last night as he easily could've let things get worse, however, I'm not optimistic about his future as a major league pitcher.