Illness causes Francisco Liriano’s early exit

5 Comments

9:25 p.m. EDT: The Twins said it was actually Liriano’s recent illness that caused his departure after three innings.  Liriano, who was originally supposed to pitch Monday, was pushed back until today because of a sore throat and other flu-like symptoms.

///

Francisco Liriano was checked on by the Twins trainer with an apparent leg issue during an intentional walk in the third inning Tuesday and didn’t come back out for the fourth against the Tigers.

Liriano, who was coming off a no-hitter against the White Sox, gave up a two-run homer to Jhonny Peralta in the second inning, snapping his streak of hitless innings.  He went on to give up two more runs after the intentional walk to Miguel Cabrera in the third.

Liriano appeared to tweak the knee of his landing leg on the second pitch of the intentional walk, which ended up quite a bit higher and further off the plate than expected.  After two warmup throws, he made it clear he was fine to stay in.  However, given his struggles and history of arm problems, the Twins probably didn’t want to risk anything by letting him come back out for another inning.  He had thrown just 29 of his 59 pitches for strikes.

Brian Duensing, who was on his throw day in between starts, came in to begin the fourth inning with the Twins down 4-0.

Jonny Venters is still pitching

Daniel Shirey/Getty Images
1 Comment

Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.