After blowing a 5-0 lead and losing to the Angels 6-5 on Friday, the Twins had more bad news for their fans, announcing that Francisco Liriano would be scratched from his scheduled start Saturday due to a sore shoulder.
Anthony Swarzak will take his place.
Liriano, who pitched a no-hitter against the White Sox earlier this month, is just 3-5 with a 5.73 ERA this season, though he has turned in quality starts three of his last four times out. Manager Ron Gardenhire said he hopes Liriano will just miss the one start.
Swarzak lost his one start for the Twins this year, giving up five runs in 5 1/3 innings against the Rays last month. He’s 3-9 with a 6.41 ERA lifetime in 13 starts and two relief appearances for Minnesota.
If Liriano lands on the DL, it will be for the first time since Aug. 2009. He missed three weeks then with left arm fatigue. Previously, he sat out the entire 2007 season following Tommy John surgery.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”