The White Sox have acquired starter Francisco Liriano from Minnesota for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernandez, the team announced Saturday.
Liriano was in the midst of an up-and-down year with the Twins, compiling a 5.31 ERA in 22 games, 17 of which were starts.
The 28-year-old lefty was demoted to Minnesota's bullpen in mid-May after seeing his ERA balloon to 9.45 in his first seven starts. But since his return to the rotation, he owns a 3.68 ERA over 11 starts, and opponents have hit just .190 off Liriano in those 66 innings.
Liriano no-hit the White Sox last May and has a 4.99 ERA in 70 13 career innings against the Sox. As a rookie in 2006, Liriano posted a 2.16 ERA in 121 innings but underwent Tommy John surgery after the season, causing him to miss the entire 2007 season. He returned in 2008 to moderate success, but scuffled in 2009.
The 2010 season was Liriano's best, as he made a career-high 31 starts with a 3.62 ERA. But Liriano struggled through 2011, with his no-hitter serving as the high point of a year in which his ERA was 5.09.
Escobar started Saturday's game in place of Alexei Ramirez and had two doubles and an RBI in five at-bats. On the season, the 23-year-old infielder is hitting .207.281.276 in 97 plate appearances.
Hernandez, acquired from San Diego in last year's Carlos Quentin trade, was lit up by the Red Sox in his only career start in the majors. In 85 23 minor-league innings this season, the lefty has a 2.94 ERA.
Liriano will hit free agency after the season and is owed a pro-rated portion of his 5.5 million salary in 2012.
Carlos Rodon’s next start will be with the White Sox.
The 24-year-old southpaw will make his season debut this week, though manager Rick Renteria didn’t give a definitive answer on when it’d be. But he’s likely lined up to pitch Wednesday or Thursday against the New York Yankees.
“I haven’t played here all year,” Rodon said. “I’m going to be a little geeked up and ready to go. Plus I get to face the Yankees, a good team, good swinging bats there.”
Rodon, who has been on the DL with bursitis in his left shoulder since the start of the season, has been sorely missed for a White Sox rotation that’s struggled mightily over the last month. White Sox starters have a 5.32 ERA in their last 30 games with only six quality starts.
Renteria said he’s hoping Rodon can bring some stability.
“We’re glad he’s healthy, we’re glad he’s back,” Renteria said. “We’re hoping he could kind of calm the waters a little bit in the rotation a little bit once he gets to his spot. He’s been down a while so hopefully he can settle into his role quickly, be effective and help us our moving forward.”
His numbers in three rehab starts in Triple-A Charlotte weren’t all that great, but in his final one on Friday, he struck out seven batters and threw 91 pitches. Rodon said that he felt comfortable with his pitches and that his slider was back with an increased velocity.
The only thing that’s left to do is go out and pitch.
“A lot of these guys, once they get back up to where they should be I think they feel a little bit more comfortable up here,” Renteria said. “They’re adrenaline is gonna be a little high. Hopefully it works to his advantage.”