While we’ve spent plenty of time talking about Francisco Liriano, I have not yet given you my actual projection for 2009, so here we go:
185.0 IP, 16 W, 3.31 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 172 K (8.37 K/9), 64 BB (3.11 BB/9)
Maybe this projection is a little bit aggressive, but why shouldn’t it be? He proved with his second half numbers (2.74 ERA over 65.2 innings) that the talent is most certainly still there. The innings also are not a big concern, having thrown nearly 200 innings last season between the majors and minors. I could see the team being cautious in the early going, possibly giving him additional rest when available. Is he going to return to the pitcher he was in 2006? Likely not, but he still has all the talent to be among the games elite.
What do you think? Is this a realistic projection? What are you expecting from him in 2009?
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.