Twins giving Liriano more chances

Updated: May 31, 2009, 3:03 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Twins left-hander Francisco Liriano will remain in the rotation, although his status might be reviewed after a couple more starts.

Liriano
Liriano

Liriano (2-7) lasted only four innings for the third straight start in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay.

"I'm definitely not ready to send Frankie to the minor leagues and I'm not ready to send him to the bullpen right now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Sunday's game with the Rays. "We'll just see how it all goes. I'd love to see Frankie just get going in the rotation."

Liriano, after Saturday's start, said he doesn't always know what pitch to throw with men on base. Gardenhire said that can be resolved if Liriano would depend on his catchers.

"You've got to trust the catcher," Gardenhire said. "Let the catcher put down a signal and go with it. Let's see what happens. When you got a catcher like Joe Mauer that knows what's going on, you trust him. If it's not going well for you, just trust him."

Minnesota could get starter Glen Perkins back in a couple weeks. The left-hander, out since May 19 because of left elbow inflammation, threw off a bullpen mound Sunday and is scheduled to make the first of two minor league rehab starts Thursday.

Perkins will be re-evaluated after the second outing June 9. He'll throw about 70 pitches Thursday.

Mauer was out of the starting lineup Sunday. He fouled a ball off his right leg just above the ankle and also was hit by a couple foul tips Saturday.

"He's a little beat up," Gardenhire said.

Third baseman Joe Crede, who fouled a ball off his left knee Saturday, also didn't start, and right fielder Mike Cuddyer left Sunday's game after the top of the second with an injured right index finger.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press