Coming into last night's debacle, Lirino had made nearly an equal number of starts with Drew Butera, Joe Mauer and Rene Rivera behind the dish. But the results have been vastly different. Liriano has posted a 5.26 ERA with a 1.449 WHIP throwing to Butera. He's been even worse with Mauer, with a 6.19 ERA and a 1.753 WHIP. But with Rivera, he's been Cy Young: 2.89 ERA and a 1.125 WHIP.
Of course, this reeks of small sample size, but sometimes that's all you've got to work with. I'll agree that it seems more than a little silly to carry a guy on the 25-man roster just to be Liriano's babysitter, but right now there happens to be plenty of dead wood on this roster:
- Jason Repko is the sixth outfielder on the roster and third center fielder. The only reason he is still on the roster is that he's out of options, but at some point he turns from reserve to hostage. Can you justify carrying him for another 4 weeks just so you maybe keep him in the offseason? And even if you did lose him, wouldn't the cost to replace him be minimal?
- Yesterday Jose Mijares was not brought in to pitch an inning when the Twins had a 37-run lead. Scarier? That was totally justified. He's also out of options, and again, I can kind of see keeping him around just so you can try him out again next season. But really, why? Is there any hope next year is any different? Has any year been much different for him? He hasn't been a serious setup option since his September callup.
- Tsuyoshi Nishioka has turned into my whipping boy lately, I'll admit it. But seriously - put the poor kid out of his misery. He looks like he would actually be relieved to be sent down to Rochester at this point. I might even consider dropping him to New Britain if he continues to insist on using this slappie left-handed approach versus southpaws. I suspect the plan was to wait for Casilla to come back, but Tolbert can play there and Plouffe can sub in a pinch.