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Action Plan for the Second Half of 2012--Part 2

brian duensing bullpen l-r splits rotation
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#1 stringer bell

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 07:45 PM

Determine Brian Duensing's role Brian Duensing has been with the Twins since 2009. He has been mostly healthy and pitched both in relief and as a starter in each year, starting 50 game and relieving in 59 coming into this year. Duensing started this year in the bullpen and was effective, pitching mostly in middle innings and showing good ability to get LH hitters out. With the implosion of the starting rotation, Duensing was given the opportunity to start and he has posted three starts before the All-Star break. Duensing had good success moving into the rotation in the division championship years of '09 and '10. Last year, he was in the rotation for almost all of the season, only won nine games and had his ERA balloon to 5.23. He particularly struggled against RH hitters, allowing a .947 OPS against and .330 opponents BA. Brian has improved against righties this year, lowering his OBA to .296 and OPS against to .771. The Cornhusker lefthander has proven he belongs in the big leagues. The question is what role best utilizes his ability. To me, bullpen duty (non-closer, non setup) is Duensing's floor. I think there is more value for him if he is able to be at least a #3-#4 starter. With 2012 pretty obviously a non-contending year, the Twins can afford to keep BD in the rotation the remainder of the season and see if starting pitcher is Duensing's ultimate role. Duesing thinks he can and should start. It is a lot easier to find a garden variety LH reliever than it is to find a legitimate lefthanded starter. I think the Twins should give him the ball every fifth day the rest of the season and see how he fares.

#2 glunn

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 11:39 PM


With 2012 pretty obviously a non-contending year, the Twins can afford to keep BD in the rotation the remainder of the season and see if starting pitcher is Duensing's ultimate role. Duesing thinks he can and should start. It is a lot easier to find a garden variety LH reliever than it is to find a legitimate lefthanded starter. I think the Twins should give him the ball every fifth day the rest of the season and see how he fares.


So far, he has not been a great starter this year, but you make a good point about the Twins not having much to lose.

#3 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 05:47 AM

Duensing seems to be like Swarzak - he is more effective when opposing teams don't have time to prepare for him. That's why he's been more effective coming out of the bullpen than in the rotation. He only went back into the rotation this year because of injuries and mass ineffectiveness of other starters. I expect him to go back to the bullpen once Walters and Pavano are healthy (which may be some time in Pavano's case - I'm not sure he's motivated to come back this year). That being said, he is a better choice than some names I have seen mooted on these boards (French? Really!?), and it's not as though keeping him in the rotation is going to cost us a division title, so...

#4 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 06:39 AM

leave him in the pen... unless he develops a pitch that he can use effectively against righties, he should be a reliever/occasional spot starter.

#5 stringer bell

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:12 AM

Duensing throws mid-90s when coming out of the 'pen. I haven't seen him throw it that hard when starting. To me, that is a major difference. We have seen the same phenomenon with Perkins. Duensing has a three pitch mix and IMHO profiles more as a starter. I also believe that his value is much higher if he can successfully start. Regarding getting RH hitters out, I detailed his splits this year and last. In '09, he had a .269 BA against and a .742 OPS against and in 2010, he had a .282 BA against and a .751 OPS against. In summary, versus righthanders, this year seems about average. While those numbers aren't good, I don't think they make Duensing a LOOGy either. Given the dearth of good options for the rotation this year and beyond, I don't think the Twins should dismiss Duensing based on three strarts where he was stretching out .

#6 snepp

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:13 AM

It's not a phenomenon, pitchers (as a whole) throw harder as relievers than they do as starters.

#7 Badsmerf

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:18 AM

I think what to do about Duensing ranks pretty low on objectives for the second half. At this point, he is pretty irrelevant.

#8 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:24 AM

Duensing throws mid-90s when coming out of the 'pen. I haven't seen him throw it that hard when starting. To me, that is a major difference. We have seen the same phenomenon with Perkins. Duensing has a three pitch mix and IMHO profiles more as a starter. I also believe that his value is much higher if he can successfully start. Regarding getting RH hitters out, I detailed his splits this year and last. In '09, he had a .269 BA against and a .742 OPS against and in 2010, he had a .282 BA against and a .751 OPS against. In summary, versus righthanders, this year seems about average. While those numbers aren't good, I don't think they make Duensing a LOOGy either. Given the dearth of good options for the rotation this year and beyond, I don't think the Twins should dismiss Duensing based on three strarts where he was stretching out .


given the lack of starting options, I wonder if the Twins will approach Perk about starting next year. I wouldn't expect a 96 MPH fastball, but if he can keep it in the low 90s and still notch some Ks, Perk could be a decent starter.

#9 Badsmerf

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 07:36 AM

given the lack of starting options, I wonder if the Twins will approach Perk about starting next year. I wouldn't expect a 96 MPH fastball, but if he can keep it in the low 90s and still notch some Ks, Perk could be a decent starter.


I'm not sure Perkins would go for that. He is seeing dollar signs right now for his production in the bullpen, why would he make that kind of risk? It was the same conversation about Nathan after the Twins converted him to the pen with success. Leave him as the closer and let him become comfortable with it.

#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:23 AM

given the lack of starting options, I wonder if the Twins will approach Perk about starting next year. I wouldn't expect a 96 MPH fastball, but if he can keep it in the low 90s and still notch some Ks, Perk could be a decent starter.


I'm going to apply the Trevor Plouffe Rule here.

Perkins is doing well as a late innings guy. Let him continue to do well in that role.

#11 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:06 AM

I'm going to apply the Trevor Plouffe Rule here.

Perkins is doing well as a late innings guy. Let him continue to do well in that role.



I'm not against this... just speculating. Perkins is clearly a better pitcher now than what he was. If that's simply cause he can dial it up a few notches, then yes I'd agree. If there's something else there though, then we are under utilizing that talent something fierce... Glen will be seeing much bigger dollars if he can successfully start.



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