|Toronto Blue Jays|
October 6, 1983 |
El Seybo, Dominican Republic
|Bats: Right||Throws: Right|
|August 25, 2007 for the Baltimore Orioles|
(through 2009 season)
|Earned run average||7.50|
Liz, who is one of 8 children in his family, started playing baseball when he was 16 years old and learned how to pitch in 2003 and 2004 while playing in the Dominican Summer League. He started pitching in the United States with the short-season Aberdeen IronBirds and Single-A Delmarva Shorebirds in 2005.
In 2006, Liz started his first full professional season with the Frederick Keys, the highest of the Orioles' three Single-A teams. Liz began the season by striking out 33 batters in his first 15 innings pitched. Later in the year, he represented the Orioles on the World squad at the All-Star Futures Game. He also received a promotion to the Double-A Bowie Baysox; between the two teams, he struck out 149 batters in 1331⁄3 innings before playing in the Dominican Winter League. However, he had difficulty with his control in the 2006 season, walking 75 batters. Baseball America named Liz the Orioles' fifth-best prospect going into the 2007 season, following Billy Rowell, Brandon Erbe, Nolan Reimold, and Pedro Beato.
Liz returned to Bowie for the 2007 season and was selected for the Eastern League's All-Star Game. He no-hit the Harrisburg Senators on June 1. His no-hitter was the first nine-inning no-hitter ever pitched at Prince George's Stadium, which has been open since 1994. On August 14, Liz took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against the Connecticut Defenders; he then allowed a single and a two-run home run, but struck out 14 batters in eight innings.
For the 2007 season, Liz had an 11–4 record for the Baysox with a 3.22 ERA and 161 strikeouts in 137 innings pitched. In his 10 starts at the Baysox' Prince George's Stadium, he was 9–0 with a 2.02 ERA in 621⁄3 innings pitched.
The Orioles recalled him from Bowie on August 24, 2007, to make a start against the Minnesota Twins at Oriole Park at Camden Yards the following day. He allowed five runs, including a three-run home run to Torii Hunter, in six innings. He consistently threw 97–98 miles per hour, with one pitch clocked at 100. In 2008, he has mostly played for the Norfolk Tides, the Orioles' Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, Virginia.
San Diego Padres
On November 25, 2009, Liz was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres. He played the 2010 season with the Portland Beavers, Triple-A affiliate of the Padres and posted an 8–8 record with a 4.83 earned run average and 109 strikeouts.
On January 5, 2011, Liz was released by the San Diego Padres.
Toronto Blue Jays
Liz is known for his remarkably long arms; when he stands with his arms at his sides, his fingers reach below his knees. Liz uses a straight overhand pitching motion and throws his fastball consistently in the mid- to upper-90s and has been clocked at 99 mph. His other pitches include an overhand curveball, a sinker, a slider, and two variations of a changeup. Early in his professional career, Liz received attention because of a clicking sound which is sometimes loud enough to be heard in the stands and occurs whenever he throws a pitch. Some have thought it to be his thumb clicking against his index finger. Orioles head athletic trainer Richie Bancells discovered that Liz's scapula caused the clicking; although rare, this condition does not hurt his pitching career. To treat this condition, Liz has been doing an exercise program to strengthen the muscles around his collarbone.