Tuesday, June 2, 2009

What's up with Franky L.?


I'm back. Sorry about no drunk blogging from Philly, folks, but it was our national sales conference which essentially means meetings all day, a very short break, and then a drinks/dinner/reception/event in the evening (with free booze all night) and not getting back to the room until after midnight.

There wasn't really much to report anyway. Due to the economy, there wasn't much in the way of gifts (at the last three (two different companies) we had gotten an i-pod, an i-pod speaker system, and a digital picture frame and this year we got a company logo'd t-shirt) and nothing in the way of events (in the passed we've hung out at the rose bowl, warner brothers studio, sea world, and a Phillies game and this year we never left the hotel). It wasn't a bad trip. I had one of the best dinners ever one night (crab legs, grilled prawns, grilled asparagus with olive oil and sea salt, risotto, lamb chops, jerk chicken with tiramisu, bread pudding, and creme brulet for dessert). It was absolutely fantastic. I also had a conversation with three black people - at the same time - one night. So all-in-all a pretty good trip.

Unfortunately when I returned to the airport and got to my car I found it had been keyed. My car got freakin' keyed. A lot. And it's not like it stands out, it's a freakin' Mazda Protege for god's sake. But sure enough, there it was, a whole shit load of key marks all over the spoiler (don't ask me why there's a spoiler, the car was Dr. Acula's first, ask him). What the hell? It makes no sense. Like Vince Vega said, "There's nothing more chickenshit than effing with a man's automobile." Suck. Anyway, on to the important issue - What's up with Francisco Liriano?

After that incredible first season, the injury and surgery, and disastrous start to last year, he finally seemed to have figured it out in the last two months of last season going 6-1 with an ERA of 2.74 and a WHIP of 1.19 after being called back up in August. Now all of a sudden, *BOOM*, he's blowing up (the bad kind).

After his last disaster of an outing, his third straight with just four innings pitched, Liriano is now posting an ERA of 6.60, a WHIP of 1.62, and the all-important record of 2-7.

Basically we are looking at bad news all-around. His strikeout rate is the lowest it's ever been (7.7 k/9 vs. 7.9 last year) while his walk rate is the highest he's ever posted (4.3 bb/9 vs. 3.8). It continues to get ugly. His opponent's batting average is a career high (.288 vs .257), and he's giving up the most home runs in his career (1.4 HR/9 vs. 0.8). He's giving up more line drives (21% vs. 18% LY) and less ground balls (38% vs. 42%) - these are both bad - and a higher percentage of the fly balls he allows are leaving the yard (12% vs. 8%).

I keep trying to find a silver lining here, but there's nothing. Batters are swinging at fewer pitches out of the zone (25.5% vs. 27.5%) but making more contact, both outside the zone (55% vs. 50%) and overall (78.6% vs. 75.5%). His Batting-average-on-balls-in-play is higher than average at .334, but he's always been a bit high (.313 LY) and a higher number is to be expected with that many line drives given up. He's given up more than four runs in a game just as often as given up less than four (4 vs. 4).

If you want to grasp at something, grasp at these two things:
1. He was masterful in the May 3rd game against Detroit, going 8 1/3 innings and giving up just two runs and four hits to go against 8 strikeouts.
2. He isn't throwing his changeup. This year he throws the changeup just 14% of the time. Last year he threw it 20%, and in his super stud year he threw it on 19% of his pitches. Maybe he just needs to get back to the change up? Although looking further maybe not. In his good starts he's thrown it just 17.4%, 10.6%, 12.5%, and 8.1% of the time.

Seriously? I think he's done. He's absolutely getting shelled out there, and there's nothing in the numbers - or watching him - to suggest it's a temporary setback. If he has another poor outing on Friday night he's going to lose his spot in the rotation with the return of Perkins and the emergence of Swarzak. Whether it's to AAA or to the bullpen, I don't think he'll recover, not a third time. He may develop into a good setup guy, although his strikeout rate isn't as high as I'd like for that anymore.

Sorry kids. Francisco Liriano is the next Lindsay Lohan. The bright shining star who everybody wants to bone one minute, a complete trainwreck starring in direct-to-video features the next. Both cases incredibly sad. What could have been?

23 comments:

catapult said...

it's all mental, the guy is a head case. whether anderson can get him straightened out is the questions. could be a garza-type thing where he doesn't click with the twins management and just needs a change of scenery.

and I would so still bang lohan, she's not washed up at all. maybe not 100% of her former self, but still hot. definitely in better shape than frankie

Dharma Bum said...

Did you read Gleeman today? He isn't doing as bad as his numbers suggest. Also, comparing to his career numbers is borderline retarded (i'm following the blog's requirements for exaggeration here). Pre-surgury Liriano isn't coming back. Sorry. I think he's just not doing as well as he was last fall. He'll still be a good pitcher, just not an ace.

WWWWWW said...

Meh. I agree with Gleeman on Swarzak, but I think he overestimates the effect of luck on Liriano's BABIP when you're giving up that many line drives and fly balls, you're going to give up a lot of hits.

Of the 94 pitcher's who currently qualify for the ERA title, he is 91st in ERA, 88th in WHIP, 75th in home runs per nine, 85th in walks per nine, 64th in K/BB, 79th in Opp. Avg., 70th in line drive pct., and is 80th in strike pct but just 59th in getting hitters to chase those pitches.

Please point me to anything thta makes it look like he isn't doing as bad as his numbers suggest and that he will still be a good pitcher. Please. I hope I'm missing something.

Lohan's career is in excellent shape compared to Franky.

WWWWWW said...

I also want to mention that I'm watching Swarzak tonight, and I didn't get to watch him either of his other two starts, but he has wicked movement on his fastball.

He's going to be quality.

The Sidler said...

Swarzak's a right-handed Perkins--he doesn't miss enough bats or have good enough control to be more than a 4/5 starter. There's nothing wrong with that. But a 6/6 K/BB ratio, a 98.5% strand rate, and unsustainably low HR rate all but predicted he was about to get shelled.

As far as Liriano goes, I do think it is at least part mental. His OPS against is .743 in 129 at-bats with the bases empty compared to 1.036 in 100 at-bats with runners on base. With runners on, his walk rate doubles, AVG +33%, OBP +31%, and SLG +46%...at least his K-rate is the same.

Maybe him and Baker can make an appointment with the "success coach" that helped turn Baker around.

SSF said...

Hmmmm....lets see if there is anything interesting on DWG today......Nope. Moving on to textsfromlastnight.com

The Todd said...

Precisely why your car got keyed - the spoiler on a Protege. Take it off already. Why do you even care? Thanks for making my day. I wish I could have watched while you realized it had been keyed. Good stuff right there.

And good call SSF, greatest site ever.

(847): this wart on my finger ripped off while i was fingering this girl the other night. she thought she had gotten her period and started crying so i went with. its better for both of us that way

WWWWWW said...

You can take a spoiler off?

WWWWWW said...

And SSF - I can't watch a shark movie every night.

The Todd said...

Just cut it off with a sawsall.

WWWWWW said...

What is a sawsall? Is that like a teeter-totter?

Jimmy said...

Are you an idiot? Lohan is even hotter now that she is a trampy/lesbo/coke head. Anyone can go shag a skinny, curveless chick who looks like she is 16. I am guessing the old Lohan would just lay on her back and be as exciting to ride as a sidler post is to read. I am guessing the new Lohan takes it anyway you can think of and would probably wear a gag ball so you wouldn't have to listen to her. You might even get lucky and her softball loving girlfriend to mix out a techno beat in the corner so you could shag to the beat. Get your act together. Coke heads are hot.

WWWWWW said...

Curveless? I don't think she was ever curveless (not counting the Parent Trap).

ssf said...

But I want a shark movie everyday.....(whiney dawger like voice)

WWWWWW said...

I'm guessing "a shark movie everyday" is NOT code for Dawg's crank.

ssf said...

uh....no. haha

Anonymous said...

Stubby is code for dawgers crank.

Theory said...

How about if you broaden your horizons to shitty sci-fi movies in general? And/or shitty horror movies? Starting with the classic Ice Cream Man, starring non-other than Ronny Howards little brother.

Anonymous said...

I heard short and to the left is also code for dawgers crank!

ssf said...

It really is off more to the right acutally.

Dawg said...

Do you want to know how I know that anonymous 1 and 2 are gay? They both like to fantasize about my crank. If you must know its been described as above average in length and girth (compared to china-men), has a distinct mole on the shaft, usually shaved and is disease free. I also have humongous taters (balls). I hope that helps when you spank the monkey later tonight. Fags!

Snake said...

My code word for dawgers mole ridden crank is Pegina!

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