Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's Lohse, Not Silva, Francisco Liriano Replaces

The matchup between phenom pitchers Francisco Liriano of the Twins and Justin Verlander of the Tigers marks the first of what will become a series of classic confrontations between the two division rivals in the coming decade. But while Liriano will become a permanent fixture in the Twins lineup, the pitcher he has replaced, Carlos Silva, is trying for comeback. Over the long term, the pitcher Liriano will replace will be Kyle Lohse, 2-4 with an 8.92 ERA. Pitching coach Rick Anderson has been assigned the daunting task of helping Silva, who won 14 games only two years ago, recover his form. The problem is that Silva's game is predicated on the turning of double plays. Even in good times Silva allows a lot of baserunners, but whereas in the past they were eliminated in twin killings executed by surehanded Corey Koskie, now with Milwaukee, replacement Tony Batista is so defensively challenged at third base that even routine grounders get past him.