, and all of them seem good.
First, White Sox general manager
acquired the most important element in the game for a backup infielder and overmatched pitching prospect.
Second, Liriano has overcome a couple rough months to post a 3.69 ERA and record 79 strikeouts in his last 11 starts. He might never return to that dominating rookie form, but he can shut down teams for extended periods, then look bad for extended periods. He went from being Johan Sanata junior to a left-handed
Third, it eases the absence of
, who might spend September recovering from surgery while his teammates fight for a playoff spot.
But the best reason to like the acquisition is that it appears to be a more productive handling of
The Nationals planned to shut down their young ace at 160 innings, which will come in August and seemingly leave them scrambling in September as they try to clinch a playoff berth. Washington could alleviate the absence of Strasburg with a trade, but there are few starters available who could replace a guy who would be in the
conversation if he didn’t have a curfew.
The Sox never voiced such a plan with Sale, but he’s at 124 innings, which is 53 more than last season and almost 34 more than his previous major league seasons combined. Sale’s recent drop in velocity screams for some kind of break.
pushing back Sale, as well as
. Liriano also gives the Sox the chance to use a six-man-rotation or
to limit him in August and ideally allow him to pitch with renewed freshness in the more critical month of September.
If you’re comparing the care and feeding of young aces on the Sox and Nationals, then setting up your best pitcher to take the ball in the most important month of the regular season is smarter.