CHICAGO -- Former starting pitcher Francisco Liriano is in that gray area between failed starter and an undetermined role as a reliever.
The one-time Minnesota Twins ace has fallen on hard times in Chicago so far after being traded earlier this summer. In his first relief appearance with the White Sox on Tuesday, Liriano hit a batter, allowed two hits, all on four pitches, and was charged with two earned runs.
“It is very frustrating,” Liriano said. “They brought me over here to help them win ballgames, and so far I haven’t done that. I have tried my best, but this is baseball. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t happen.”
Liriano, a former All-Star, may be in the back of the bullpen for now, but the Sox manager Robin Ventura apparently does not have a doghouse.
“There are different things he can do,” Ventura said. “Depending on how things go he could even be starting on Friday (in Minnesota). There are options because what he has done in the past. He is a starter by nature, but he can come out of the bullpen.”
Liriano has not lost his confidence and still looks like he has a live arm. His problem has been command.
“Everything happened real fast for him last night,” bullpen coach Juan Nieves said. “This guy is a former All-Star who we believe in. He will get other opportunities to help us and he will.”
Liriano has stumbled all season, carrying a 5-11 record with a 5.37 ERA.
“I will continue to work hard and try and get better,” Liriano said. “Hopefully they will give me another chance to try and help the team win.”