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MLB week


A scout's take

On Francisco Liriano, Minnesota Twins' 22-year-old left-handed starter

Pitches -- He has three-plus pitches right now: His fastball is 93 to 95 mph, he's got a hard slider and a plus changeup. He has two sliders, really. One's a wider one that he throws to left-handers and he has a short, snappy one to right-handers, like Steve Carlton used to throw.

Weakness -- Command is the only thing standing in his way from being another Johan Santana. He needs to be able to locate better, especially his fastball on both sides of the plate.

Overall -- He is a legitimate ace in the making. [Twins GM] Terry Ryan engineered one of the biggest steals of the century [from the San Francisco Giants in 2003]. Liriano, Joe Nathan and Boof Bonser for A.J. Pierzynski. Not a bad deal at all.

Note: "A scout's take" features one major league scout's opinion on a particular player each week. A revolving roundtable of scouts is used. Because of potential tampering, the scouts are anonymous.

Say what?

"I broke down during the national anthem and started crying. Nobody saw it, though."

Tampa Bay Devil Rays farmhand and former No. 1 draft pick Josh Hamilton, who played center field for Single-A Hudson Valley on Tuesday, his first game in nearly four years due to injuries, cocaine abuse and other personal problems

Numbing number


That's the ERA for Kansas City Royals starter Mark Redman (6-4), who was named to the American League All-Star team as the Royals' representative.

What's up?

What else? The 77th All-Star Game on Tuesday and all of the exhausting festivities that go with it in Pittsburgh.

This afternoon, Orioles farmhands Nolan Reimold and Radhames Liz play in the Futures Game. Tomorrow is the Home Run Derby. Miguel Tejada, last year's Most Valuable Player in Detroit, is the Orioles' lone representative in Tuesday's main event. The regular season resumes Thursday with Mark Teixeira returning to his hometown as the Orioles host the Texas Rangers.

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