He was dominate again for the Red Wings last night and according to this article, could get a spot start Friday against the Blue Jays.
BY JASON WILLIAMS
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Twins are down to worrying mostly about the fifth spot in the starting rotation.
The organization was freed of a big burden Friday afternoon when rookie sensation Francisco Liriano threw a pain-free bullpen session.
Liriano said he did not feel any pain in his forearm, keeping the Cy Young Award candidate on track to make Monday's scheduled start at Detroit.
"Perfect," said Liriano, adding that he threw all three of his pitches during the 15-minute session. "I'm ready to go. I feel stronger with that (extra) rest."
The Twins skipped Liriano in the rotation Wednesday after a muscle near his elbow became inflamed. That was more bad news in a tumultuous week for the starting rotation, leaving the Twins concerned about how long they could stay in the wild-card hunt.
Things could be looking up after veteran Brad Radke's ailing shoulder held up in a strong outing Thursday, and Liriano did not experience a setback Friday.
"That's pretty encouraging," pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "Let's see if we can get it going again."
The Twins turn their focus to the fifth spot in the rotation. Minor league journeyman Mike Smith is the latest to get a crack at holding down that job when the right-hander makes his scheduled Twins debut Sunday against Kansas City.
If Smith struggles, hotshot prospect Matt Garza could make his big-league debut Friday against Toronto at the Metrodome. That is the next time the fifth spot in the rotation comes up.
Garza continued to make his case for a call up during Friday night's start for Class AAA Rochester. He pitched seven shutout innings, allowing four hits and striking out 11 in the Red Wings' 8-0 victory on a 96-degree night in Charlotte, N.C.
In five starts since being promoted to Rochester, Garza is 3-1 with a 1.85 earned-run average. He leads all the minor leagues in victories (14) and strikeouts (154).
Minor league coordinator Jim Rantz indicated Friday afternoon that the Twins could make a decision to promote Garza based on the outing. The organization has wanted Garza to throw more breaking pitches before making a decision.
"This one will be the key start for him to see if he has taken on that situation as far as using all his pitches," Rantz said.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax