Potential Twins Bullpen Target: Brad Hand, LHP, Indians
Image courtesy of © David Dermer-USA TODAY SportsBrad Hand, LHP, 29-years-old
Cleveland Indians (38-34, 2nd in AL Central)
Under team control through 2020, with a team option in 2021.
2019: 0.88 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 13.5 K/9, 2.3 BB/9 in 30.2 IP
2018: 2.28 ERA, 1.157 WHIP, 13.3 K/9, 4.2 BB/9 in 27.2 IP
What’s to Like?
Everybody loves left-handed pitching coming out of their bullpen. Brad Hand is not just a left-handed specialist, he’s tough on both right and left-hand batters. Lefties are hitting .115 off him while righties are only hitting slightly better at .154. Hand reminds me of Taylor Rogers, he’s a left-handed reliever who can be brought in whenever you need outs.
Hand is tied the AL lead in saves (20), is the AL leader in FanGraphs’ WAR (1.4) for relievers, is a perfect 20/20 on saves this season, and 2nd in ERA (0.88) for AL relievers.
According to Statcast, Hand has an average spin rate of 2,529 RPMs on his four-seam fastball, which is about the same as former Twin Ryan Pressly, and good for about 12th best in the league. Pressly left Minnesota, increased his spin rate and has been very good for the Houston Astros since. A higher spin rate means hitters will have a harder time hitting a fastball as it will have more “life” to it.
Hand also was born in Minneapolis and drafted out of Chaska High School, so it would be a nice homecoming.
The largest concern with landing Hand would be the sheer cost to obtain him. With Hand being on a Cleveland Indians team that is not in rebuild mode, the Twins would have to give up more than one top prospect. Add to that fact that Hand is still under team control through 2021, and you have one of the most expensive targets the Twins could consider.
Another concern with Hand would be the number of innings he’s pitched over the last four seasons. Since 2016 Hand has logged 271.1 innings pitched. While he’s not old by any means, there is always concern that a reliever will fall apart with too much use. With Hand being a starter early in his career though, this might not be much of an issue.
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