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Liriano Rejoins Rotation

Francisco Liriano will rejoin the Minnesota Twins' pitching rotation Sunday after an 19-month absence due to Tommy John surgery, according to the Pioneer Press.

Liriano, 24, started the 2006 season with the Twins in the bullpen, but was soon moved to the starting rotation. On May 19, 2006, Liriano began what would be one of the most dominate stretches of pitching in recent baseball history.

In 121 innings in 2006, Liriano posted a sterling 12-3 record with a 2.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts. But on Sept. 13, 2006 Liriano had to walk off the mound with severe elbow pain, reported the Star Tribune. He had to have Tommy John surgery on Nov. 6, 2006, and was forced to miss all of the 2007 season.

Liriano has worked himself back into shape though and is ready to make his major league debut, part two.

"It's something big for me, my comeback game," Liriano said. "I'm going to go try to do the best I can." (Pioneer Press)

Everyone knows Liriano's best is outstanding, even though he has struggled somewhat recently. Liriano has posted a pedestrian 7.56 ERA so far this year in two minor league starts. But Twin's manager Ron Gardenhire knows the old Liriano is still in there.

"A few times out there (in spring training), he just dominated a couple innings where we were like, 'Oof,' " Gardenhire said. (Pioneer Press)

If Liriano can indeed return to his old form, it would be a big lift for the Twins.

"He could be huge for us,"Gardenhire said. "If he goes out and does his thing and tries not to overthrow the ball -- a lefthander in this league with good stuff can do a lot of damage. So, it's exciting." (Star Tribune)