By Joe Christensen
5. M.C. from Alaska asks: Joltin’ Joe, about Liriano, I keep wondering — what is the range of performance after an injury like this? How close to previous performance are pitchers after an injury and surgery? I mean there must be some chance Liriano is never coming back.
The Twins have history on their side with this one. Off the top of my hand, I can think of a few guys who had Tommy John surgery and continued to have arm problems: Darren Dreifort and Eric Gagne come to mind. But here’s a list of Tommy John survivors and thrivers: Chris Carpenter, John Smoltz, Mariano Rivera, Billy Wagner. Since this is Liriano we’re talking about, you want a lefthander who had the surgery, came back and continued to rely on a sharp breaking ball over a long career? How about David Wells?
6. TwinsTerritory asks: Will you be around the minor league camp?
I should make it there a couple times this spring. After all, it’s right across the parking lot from where I’m sitting at Hammond Stadium. I know there are a lot of good stories over there. I want to check in on Loek Van Mil, the 7-foot-1 pitcher from the Netherlands we wrote about last spring.
7. Trevor Born asks: To the nearest tenth of a pound, how much does Sidney Ponson weigh? … OK, really, when is Jeff Cirillo going to show up? What’s your opinion on his acquisition along with Ken Harvey’s?
It’s fine to take a flier on Harvey, but I don’t think he’ll make the team, barring someone else’s injury. As for Cirillo, who arrived mid-week, I thought it was a nice move for the Twins. A versatile veteran defender, who hit .413 against lefties last year.