The Twins' biggest concern heading into this spring was whether Liriano would trust that he's healthy enough to let loose on all of his pitches. His tentativeness early in Wednesday's outing seemed to confirm that fear, but it was Liriano's finish that had the coaching staff encouraged he might be slowly moving past that."The only thing I told him after the game was, 'You really started cutting lose there at the end. You feel fine, right?'" pitching coach Rick Anderson said. "He said, 'I feel great.' I told him, 'That's showing you something. You're cutting it loose and you still feel fine.' Hopefully, that's going to move it forward now." Liriano said he's no longer concerned about his health, but rather getting the feel back on all of his pitches. The one pitch Liriano did appear to have control over Wednesday was his changeup, a pitch he's worked very hard to perfect during his 15-month layoff following the surgery. While his devastating slider still isn't completely back to form, Liriano said he threw more in this outing than he had in any session so far this spring. There were a few glimpses of that dominant slider of old when the Liriano threw a couple to Ortiz before his double in the third and the southpaw struck out J.D. Drew on one to start the second. After the outing, the consensus was that Liriano still has a way to go in his return. But for the Twins, the ups and downs are just all part of the process of trying to get Liriano back to form. "You can see he's a little behind," Gardenhire said. ""He's going to have those moments where it's going to be a little interesting out there. He hasn't pitched for a long time. I think you are going to see some good ones and some bad ones." "But it's all about him pitching and getting innings. He finally let it go today at the end and that was better. Now we just work on it from there."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.