Francisco Liriano was a surprise addition (acquired via trade with Pittsburgh) to the Jays' roster late in the season. With the Pirates, Liriano posted a disgusting 5.46 ERA and 1.62 WHIP over 113.2 innings and 21 starts. Once reunited with his former catcher Russell Martin in Toronto, the veteran managed a sweet-looking 2.92 ERA and 1.18 WHIP over 49.1 innings and 10 appearances (eight starts). Liriano proved there is plenty left in the tank by rounding out 2016 with a 1.46 ERA in his last four starts, including a 10-strikeout performance in his season finale. Mainly due to his time in the NL, the southpaw's overall numbers from last season are less than impressive. The 33-year-old's 9.28 K/9 was great but completely negated by a terrible 4.69 BB/9. Liriano's 1.44 HR/9 and 4.89 FIP both ranked among the 10 worst marks in MLB. He should be a mainstay in Toronto's rotation in 2017, but despite his high marks with Martin and Toronto, he's best handled cautiously for use in fantasy leagues.
Liriano, under the guidance of Jays' pitching coach Pete Walker, has worked on adjusting his release point to match what he'd done during his most successful years in Pittsburgh, SB Nation reports. Much of Liriano's late-season success last year in Toronto (after being acquired from Pittsburgh) was attributed to him reuniting with his former catcher Russell Martin, but there may be a better explanation. After two strong seasons, the southpaw struggled early in 2015 before being traded north of the border. Liriano and Walker identified a mechanical flaw that had the veteran opening his front shoulder too much and leaving his throwing arm hanging out to dry. A correction was made to have Liriano keep his front-side closed, and the 33-year-old ran off a stretch of four-straight quality starts to end 2016. Liriano's overall 4.69 ERA and 8-13 record from a year ago may lead many owners to undervalue him in upcoming drafts. However, there are indicators that would suggest Liriano may be back to the dominant form he displayed in his first two seasons with Pittsburgh (2014-2015).
Liriano (concussion) has been cleared and is available out of the bullpen Saturday, Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. This was anticipated, and it gives the Blue Jays a quality left-handed arm with the potential to log multiple innings out of the bullpen going forward in the ALCS.
Liriano (head) is listed on the Blue Jays' ALCS roster, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports. Liriano has progressed well through his rehab from a concussion sustained during the ALDS, so he'll rejoin Toronto's playoff roster as expected. The left-hander is on track to return to the Blue Jays bullpen by Game 2.
Liriano's (head) bullpen session Thursday went off with no issues and he is on track to return for Game 2 of the ALCS, John Lott of Vice Sports reports. Liriano's expected return to the rotation for Game 2 is a major boon for the Blue Jays' staff. He'll face an Indians club that had a league-average OPS against southpaws on the season at .748. Provided that Liriano returns for Game 2, J.A. Happ would likely be pushed back to Game 3.
Liriano (concussion) will throw a bullpen session Thursday, Shi Davidi of SportsNet reports. Liriano's availability for the ALCS is contingent upon his upcoming workout. Fortunately, the team is optimistic that Liriano will be able to return to action for the series. However, because of when he was placed on the DL, Liriano wouldn't be available until Game 2.