The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

October 7, 2013

Thoma column: The changeup changed Liriano's career path

(Continued)

The problem is that Liriano's fastball is his third best pitch. Yes, he has velocity, but he lacks command of it. Always has, probably always will.

The Twins (and their broadcasters) used to tout Liriano's changeup, but he never really featured the pitch. He was always about the power: fastball and slider, with the change as an afterthought.

If you want to blame Anderson for that, go ahead. But I do find this interesting: The two best starting pitchers the Twins have had over the past two decades, Johan Santana and Brad Radke, featured outstanding changeups.

Anderson tried too hard to turn Liriano into a typical Twins pitcher, the critics say. I would suggest that Liriano's revival in Pittsburgh is the result of him shifting to a more Twins-like approach.

Edward Thoma (344-6377; ethoma@mankatofreepress.com) maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at fpbaseballoutsider.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.

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