Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 5/26/12
MINNEAPOLIS After a mental break in the bullpen, left-hander Francisco Liriano is back in the Minnesota Twins' rotation. Liriano, who was 0-5 with a 9.45 ERA in six starts this year before being demoted to the bullpen, will be inserted back into the rotation and start Wednesday against Oakland, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Saturday. Anthony Swarzak, who made a spot start Friday against Detroit, will go back to the bullpen."I'm looking forward to the start," Liriano said Saturday. "I've always been a starter. That's what I want to do. I'm very happy. I'm just looking forward to trying to do my job, try to get better."Minnesota has used nine starting pitchers so far in 2012, including Liriano. Nick Blackburn is currently on the disabled list and Jason Marquis was recently designated for assignment. Liriano will attempt to solidify a Twins rotation that has been in flux for the entire season."We need him in the rotation. We just can't keep bouncing around from guy to guy to guy. We just need Frankie," Gardenhire said. "We said we were going to give him a few shots out of the bullpen, let him calm down a little bit. Now we'll put him back out there and see if we've got that pitcher going. We'll see. "We've seen him smile a few times. He's chomping at the bit to get the ball now."The 28-year-old Liriano made five relief appearances after his demotion and had a 4.91 ERA in 7 13 innings while pitching out of the bullpen. He walked seven batters in relief and struck out nine. As a starter, Liriano walked 19 batters and struck out 21 in 26 23 innings.The problem with Liriano wasn't necessarily anything physical or mechanical, but rather mental. The move to the bullpen allowed him to clear his mind for a bit before resuming his role as starter."Mentally, I'm fine. Physically, I'm fine," Liriano said. "I didn't lose my confidence at all."In his six starts, Liriano didn't last more than 5 13 innings. Twice, he didn't make it into the fifth inning. It's a trend that has been contagious throughout the rotation, as Minnesota's starters have failed to go deep into games for much of the season.Liriano is hoping to change that."I just want to go out there and try to go deeper into the game, get quality starts and give my team a chance to win a ball game," he said.The Twins are still hoping to see glimpses of the Liriano of 2006, his rookie season in which he went 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA in 16 starts. In 2010, he was 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA and had a career-high 201 strikeouts in 191 23 innings, also a career best.Last year, however, Liriano was 9-10 with a 5.09 ERA and was placed on the disabled list twice with shoulder injuries. Health has not been an issue for him this season, however."We'll just have to wait and see, really. He's healthy. We know that," Gardenhire said. "It's all we can hope for is him to go out there. We're running through the gamut here of pitching. We need Liriano in the rotation. We need that arm in the rotation."Follow Tyler Mason on Twitter
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