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Twins SPs: Time to cut Francisco Liriano?

Updated: August 8, 2011, 4:57 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
For years the Minnesota Twins have supplied fantasy owners with usable rotation parts, though not spectacular ones since the Johan Santana era ended. Once upon a time, Francisco Liriano was safe (and awesome), while Matt Garza, Scott Baker, Kevin Slowey, Carl Pavano and even Nick Blackburn have had seasons of relevance. However, things aren't going well in 2011. Liriano has thrown a no-hitter, but his ERA is more than 5. Checking out the current top 10 Twins on the Player Rater, we find a lone starting pitcher on the list, and it's Monday's scheduled starter against the Boston Red Sox, the rejuvenated Baker.

Baker's 3.01 ERA and 1.18 WHIP really stand out for a rotation in which nobody else sports an ERA better than 4.50. That's hard to believe, considering the team plays in a pitcher's park. Do you want to own Brian Duensing? No, me neither. Twins starting pitchers have a cumulative 4.31 ERA, and Baker is the only one with a winning record, the only one with a WHIP better than 1.36 (excluding the five magical starts from otherwise ordinary Anthony Swarzak).

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