Twins To Designate Tyler Duffey For Assignment

The Twins have designated a right-handed reliever Tyler Duffey for project, as first reported by Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Twitter hyperlink). Right-hander Cole Sands is being recalled from Triple-A St. Paul to take Duffey’s spot on the roster (and, seemingly, within the bullpen for now). Minnesota has but to formally announce the transfer.

Duffey, a fifth-round choose by the Twins again in 2012, has had an up-and-down profession in Minnesota. Debuting as a starter again in 2015, he rapidly appeared as if he may maintain that position down for the foreseeable future, pitching to a 3.10 ERA with strong strikeout and stroll charges as a rookie that yr. However, Duffey was clobbered for a ghastly 6.33 ERA in 133 innings the next yr and moved to the bullpen in 2017.

It took a while, however by the 2019 season, Duffey had turn out to be an indispensable member of the Twins’ bullpen. He logged 57 2/3 innings of two.50 ERA ball and punched out a whopping 34.5% of his opponents towards a 5.9% stroll charge that season. From July 28 by Sept. 25 in 2019, Duffey went 26 straight appearances with out permitting a run — a complete of 23 2/3 innings throughout which he posted a scintillating 40-to-5 Okay/BB ratio. He adopted that yr with an excellent higher exhibiting within the shortened 2020 season (1.88 ERA in 24 innings), and whereas his numbers took a step again in 2021 they have been nonetheless fairly strong (3.18 ERA, 3.49 FIP in 62 1/3 innings) .

All in all, from 2019-21, Duffey logged 144 innings with a 2.69 ERA (3.16 FIP), a 29.8% strikeout charge, an 8.2% stroll charge and a 44.4% ground-ball charge. By and enormous, he was an efficient late-inning reliever on whom the Twins relied with regularity.

This season, nonetheless, has been one other story fully. Duffey owns a 4.91 ERA and has already yielded eight dwelling runs in simply 44 innings of labor (1.64 HR/9). The fastball that averaged 94 mph in 2019 is now averaging 92.3 mph, and he is seen his strikeout charge plummet to 21.1% whereas his 8.1% stroll charge is greater than two proportion factors larger than it was throughout that 2019 peak.

Much as he did in 2019, Duffey had a powerful run this summer time when he rattled off 15 2/3 shutout innings with a 12-to-3 Okay/BB ratio from June 17 by July 23, however that scorching streak has been bookended by nightmarish bouts of dwelling runs yielded in leverage spots. Duffey has yielded a number of runs in 20% of his appearances this season (eight of 40), together with 5 completely different outings the place he is been tagged for 3 runs. Since that promising run from mid-June by late July, Duffey has yielded seven runs on six hits (two homers) and 4 walks with three strikeouts in a complete of 4 1/3 innings.

Minnesota’s bullpen has been the group’s biggest flaw this season, and Duffey’s wild inconsistency has performed a major half in that Achilles heel. He’s incomes $3.8MM in his closing season of membership management earlier than free company, that means any membership who claimed him — he cannot be traded now that the deadline has handed — could be on the hook for the remaining $1.28MM on this yr’s wage. Because of that, he’ll possible go unclaimed, and even when the Twins try to outright him to Triple-A St. Paul, he can reject the project and retain the rights to that wage, as is his proper as a participant with five-plus years of MLB service time.

As for the 25-year-old Sands, he is been rocked for 16 runs in 16 1/3 Major League innings throughout this season’s debut, however he has a greater minor league observe document. Like Duffey, he is a former fifth-round choose (Florida State University, 2018) with a historical past of strong minor league performances. While it is true that Sands has been hit arduous in St. Paul this season (5.59 ERA in 48 1/3 frames), he posted a superb 2.46 ERA by 80 1/3 Double-A frames final yr and likewise notched a sub-3.00 ERA in his first full professional season with the Twins again in 2019

Sands has labored primarily as a starter in his profession, so it will be intriguing to see if, just like Duffey earlier in his profession, Sands’ stuff will play up within the ‘pen and permit him to grab a job there transferring ahead. Alternatively, he may merely function in a protracted aid position till lefty Jovani Moran returns from the injured listing after which head again to St. Paul the place he’d proceed working as a starter and function rotation depth each this yr and subsequent.

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