Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Ventura: Escobar "like a little brother or son"

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- The White Sox acquired left-handed starting pitcher Francisco Liriano from the Minnesota Twins on Saturday night in exchange for infielder Eduardo Escobar and minor-league left-hander Pedro Hernandez.

Liriano, 28, will be a free agent after the season. He is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA over 100 innings with 109 strikeouts in 22 games for the Twins in 2012 and ranks third in the American League in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.81 while has shown flashes of success over his career, making the All-Star team as a rookie in 2006 and winning Comeback Player of the Year honors in 2010. He pitched a no-hitter against the Sox last season.

Liriano also lost his last start on July 23 against the Sox, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings after posting a 2.84 ERA with 77 strikeouts in his previous 10 outings.

Sox manager Robin Ventura, while pleased to have an addition to his pitching staff, was fond of Escobar and found it difficult to say goodbye after the Sox defeated the Rangers 5-2. The Sox clubhouse was somber after losing a well-liked teammate.

"You do everything you possibly can to make us better pitching wise,'' Ventura said. "But it's tough after a good win like this because Escobar is a big part of what we're doing. It's more than numbers and how he plays - it's everybody living together a long time. It's a tough one team-wise.

"He's kind of like the little brother or a son. He's taking it hard. It's part of baseball. It happens to a lot of people. But it will make us better.''

Escobar, the only backup shortstop to Alexei Ramirez, will need to be replaced. A roster move is expected Sunday, with a pitcher sent to the minors to make room for another infielder. He will report to the Twins' AAA club in Rochester.

"He fit in great,'' captain Paul Konerko said. "Esco is a team favorite, no doubt. He's done everything the team has asked of him this year and been a real positive guy with a lot of energy. Everybody loves Esco so it's tough losing him.

"It's a huge move for him personally. It hurts to lose him. We are happy to strengthen the pitching. I think that will be good. But I know everybody is feeling for Esco right now.''

Sox general manager Ken Williams, who came up short in an a dogged effort to get Zack Greinke from the Brewers, settled for Liriano, whose credentials pale in comparison but figures to bolster the rotation nonetheless.

"He's been good and that's part of Kenny trying to find something to push us over the top,'' Ventura said.

The 28-year-old Liriano, a who pitched a no-hitter against the Sox last season, is 3-10 with a 5.31 ERA over 100 innings with 109 strikeouts in 22 games for the Twins in 2012. He ranks third in the AL in strikeouts per nine innings with 9.81. He lost his last start on July 23 against the Sox, allowing seven runs over 2 2/3 innings after posting a 2.84 ERA with 77 strikeouts in his previous 10 outings.

Liriano was a Twins All-Star as a rookie in 2006 and was the AL Comeback player of the Year in 2010. He has two postseason appearances, including a start against the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2010 ALDS.

Escobar, 23, played shortstop for the Sox Saturday night, hitting two doubles. He batted .207 with three RBI in 36 games. Hernandez made his major-league debut for the Sox in a start on at Boston on July 18, allowing eight runs on 12 hits over four innings. He was sent back to AAA after the start.

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on July 28, 2012 10:42 PM.

White Sox, Humber turn back Rangers was the previous entry in this blog.

GM Williams: Liriano 'excited' to join White Sox is the next entry in this blog.

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