In his three starts for the Pirates this season, Francisco Liriano has pitched a total of 18.0 innings, earning three wins, allowing just two runs and striking out 25 batters. Fine work. Laudable. Hope they're selling thousands of LIRIANO 47 jerseys at PNC.
But you guys need to stop adding him in fantasy. Seriously, stop it. Cease. No more.
(Yeah, I realize we've been leading the Yahoo! fantasy home page with Liriano propaganda in recent days, but THAT'S NOT MY CALL. Do not blame me when he detonates. Remember, I tried to intervene.)
You guys recall the back-to-back outings Liriano gave us just 10 months ago, right? He recorded 25 Ks over two starts for the Twins, then was soon flipped to the White Sox ... and then turned back into Liriano. He gave Chicago 56.2 innings, allowing 34 earned runs (5.40 ERA), seven homers and 32 walks.
When he's good, he's great. When he's bad (which is fairly often), he's the worst.
We can't just ignore the small sample/quality-of-opponent issue with Liriano this season. His three wins have come against the Mets, Brewers and Cubs. These teams currently rank 23rd, 20th and 24th in run-scoring; they have winning percentages of .386, .400 and .391. Before you get too enthusiastic about Liriano, let's just see how he's treated by Detroit and Cincinnati in his upcoming starts. (You can't be thinking about using him in either of those match-ups, right? Of course not. Hell no.)
In a nutshell, Liriano is a WHIP bomb. The most dangerous sort of fantasy tease. I wouldn't touch him with one of Brad Evans' rosters.
I'll concede that pitchers can benefit from the A.L.-to-N.L. switch, and I'll acknowledge that Liriano is throwing as hard as he did last season (if not like he did pre-Tommy John. This ain't '06.) But we have such awful, miserable, no-good history with this guy. So much is already known. I haven't added, haven't been tempted. I refused to discuss him in Wednesday's Closing Time, thinking it was the responsible approach.
Basically, you're getting a CYA post today. When Liriano takes a bad turn, please direct the hostility elsewhere.