CHICAGO -- Pitching coach Don Cooper didn't consider Francisco Liriano's move to the bullpen a demotion, and indeed it wasn't, as the left-hander is set to rejoin the rotation on Friday in Minnesota.
The series-opening starter against the Twins was going to be either Liriano or fellow lefty Hector Santiago. Liriano pitched in relief on Tuesday, and Santiago came out of the 'pen on Wednesday to piggyback starter Gavin Floyd, who threw 4 2/3 innings in his return from the disabled list.
Liriano struggled in his relief appearance, throwing four pitches to three batters, resulting in two hits and a hit batter. It was the latest rough outing for Liriano, who is 2-1 with a 5.09 ERA in four starts since joining the White Sox prior to the non-waiver Trade Deadline.
Liriano admitted on Thursday that he still has something to prove in a White Sox uniform.
"I think so, yeah," Liriano said. "I haven't pitched the way I would like to pitch here. I'm going to go tomorrow and try to go deeper in the game, and hopefully things go the way I want them to."
Target Field was Liriano's home park for the past two-plus years. It was there he made his White Sox debut on July 31, not factoring in the decision after allowing two runs and striking out eight in six innings.
"He's done it before for us," manager Robin Ventura said. "That's where he pitched the first time. I would think he would be comfortable on that mound."
Liriano is grateful for the second chance.
"I'm very excited they gave me another shot," he said. "I just need to do my job. I'm really excited and looking forward to starting tomorrow."