SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (AP) -Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano said Monday he received his U.S. visa and was preparing to travel to spring training in Florida.
The Dominican left-hander had a delay in obtaining the visa because of a Florida drunken-driving plea and missed the team's Feb. 18 voluntary reporting date for pitchers and catchers in Fort Myers, Fla.
``I obtained the visa, and I will go away tomorrow for training,'' Liriano said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press.
He said he successfully completed a required alcohol assessment before getting the U.S. visa to enter the country.
Liriano was among baseball's top rookies in 2006, going 12-3 with a 2.16 ERA before an elbow injury ended his season and required surgery. The former All-Star said his throwing arm feels strong and he has been regularly working out in the Twins academy in the Dominican Republic.
Liriano was arrested in March 2006 and through an attorney pleaded no contest in January 2007 in Lee County, Fla., to a misdemeanor first-offense DUI charge. He was sentenced to six months probation and 50 hours of community service - which he bought out for $10 per hour. He also had his driver's license suspended for six months and paid $650 in fines and costs.
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