Posted at 8:41 AM on March 6, 2008
by Chris Dall
Looks like we in Minnesota are not the only ones interested to see how Francisco Liriano returns from Tommy John surgery. Liriano's is expected to pitch tomorrow, his first live action since the surgery.
Jack Curry from the New York Times has an article about Liriano's return, and the dillema that the Twins coaches face as they try to get him back on the mound. The issue? Trying to make Liriano's delivery a little less violent, without significantly changing his delivery.
The Boston Globe has a profile of the pitcher for whome the surgey is named, and how long it took him to regain his stuff. Tommy John says he believes the most significant element in returning from the surgery is pitchers giving their arms significant time to heal. The good news is that John pitched until he was 46. He's now 64 years old, managing in the minor leagues, and throwing batting practice every day with no pain.
On a team that's filled with question marks, Liriano might be the biggest question mark of all. If he is somewhere close to the form he showed in 2006, this team could surprise a lot of people.
If you're a glass half-full type of fan, you'll cite the 85 percent success rate of the surgery and the stats of pitchers like John Smoltz, Tom Gordon, and Mariano Rivera (all of whom had the surgery) to feel good about Liriano's chances.
I imagine it'll depend largely on his mental outlook. If he believes he's fully recovered, I'm sure he is. Body only follows the mind's lead.