After turning in a miserable 5.09 ERA in 24 starts last season, 2012 was supposed to be a year of resurgence for Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano. But in his season debut against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday, Liriano looked eerily similar to the pitcher who struggled to record outs for much of last year.
With his team shut down offensively during his stint on the mound, Liriano scattered eight hits in just four innings, yielding six runs (five earned) with two walks. He did manage to strike out four batters, but fanning batters in between the hits and walks has never been an issue for the talented lefthander. Liriano did not come out to the mound to begin the fifth inning with Minnesota down 6-0 on the scoreboard.
Liriano will now open the year with an 11.25 ERA and 2.50 WHIP, numbers that are more than double what he averaged a year ago. While it's never fair to judge a starter based on one game, a performance like this does not invoke confidence that Liriano will be able to turn his career around in 2012.