Liriano plays catch, left shoulder checks out fine

3 Comments

Twins starter Francisco Liriano skipped a scheduled bullpen session Friday because he had a bit of tightness in his throwing shoulder. For a guy with his injury history, any kind of abnormal discomfort is concerning, but he is going to survive this little issue.

According to Phil Mackey of Minneapolis’ ESPN 1500 AM, Liriano checked out fine this morning in an examination by doctors.

He even played catch from 120 feet and told reporters that he is hoping to throw a bullpen session within the next couple of days.

Liriano, 27, went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 1.26 WHIP over 31 starts last season. He struck out an ace-like 201 batters in 191.2 innings and is expected to serve as the Twinkies’ No. 1 starter this year.

Gleeman touched on Liriano’s impending free agency and failed extension talks last week.

Mariano Rivera elected to Baseball Hall of Fame unanimously

Elsa/Getty Images
19 Comments

Former Yankees closer Mariano Rivera deservingly became the first player ever inducted into the Hall of Fame unanimously, receiving votes from all 425 writers who submitted ballots. Previously, the closest players to unanimous induction were Ken Griffey, Jr. (99.32% in 2016), Tom Seaver (98.84% in 1992), Nolan Ryan (98.79% in 1999), Cal Ripken, Jr. (98.53%), Ty Cobb (98.23% in 1936), and George Brett (98.19% in 1999).

Because so many greats were not enshrined in Cooperstown unanimously, many voters in the past argued against other players getting inducted unanimously, withholding their votes for otherwise deserving players. That Griffey — both one of the greatest outfielders of all time and one of the most popular players of all time — wasn’t voted in unanimously in 2016, for example, seemed to signal that no player ever would. Now that Rivera has been, this tired argument about voting unanimity can be laid to rest.

Derek Jeter will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot for the first time next year. He may become the second player ever to be elected unanimously. David Ortiz appears on the 2022 ballot and could be No. 3. Now that Rivera has broken through, these are possibilities whereas before they might not have been.

Another tired argument around Hall of Fame voting concerns whether or not a player is a “first ballot” Hall of Famer. Some voters think getting enshrined in a player’s first year of eligibility is a greater honor than getting in any subsequent year. I’m not sure what it will take to get rid of this argument — other than the electorate getting younger and more open-minded — but at least we have made progress on at least one bad Hall of Fame take.