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Neal: Kintzler likely to open as closer

brandon kintzler
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#1 Nick Nelson

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:44 AM

La Velle has a story in the Star Tribune on Brandon Kintzler, who is expected to handle ninth-inning duties when the season kicks off in April:




I like Kintzler's attitude: “Even if I’m in that role all year, I’m not going to talk like that. If I go to free agency, no one is going to view me as that, so whatever job I have, I just do that job.”


He has no illusions. And neither do most fans. He is at best a placeholder until the Twins can find a more optimal solution for the closer role. Personally, I think it'll be JT Chargois. But despite his heavy contact tendencies Kintzler's highly effective sinker makes him a guy you can count on not to blow up regularly at the end of games. 


What are your thoughts?

#2 Vanimal46


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 09:47 AM

He's my top regression candidate.... So yeah, don't think this is going to play out well. 

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#3 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:31 AM

I don't really have a problem with this, as the team has no real closer candidates.


But the leash should be short and the moment one of the younger arms start to show promise, they should be moved to the eighth and then ninth inning.

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#4 Willihammer



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Posted 16 February 2017 - 10:48 AM

Seems like the right move, maybe for the wrong reasons though. Pressly is definitely the better reliever, and probably Rogers too so I'm happy they'll not be held back for "save" situations.

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#5 Physics Guy

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:02 AM

I'm with Willihammer.  I think Kintzler is decent enough to finish off most games.  Pitch the better relievers in higher leverage situations.

Edited by Physics Guy, 16 February 2017 - 11:02 AM.

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#6 Seth Stohs

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:18 AM

Yeah, I don't have a problem with it at all... And if Chargois, Pressly, May, whoever end up being great in the 7th and 8th innings, that's wonderful. We always talk about putting the best relievers in the biggest situations. I'm good with Chargois or Burdi or Hildenberger or any of them pitching in the Betances role, rather than just 9th innings. 

#7 nicksaviking


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:22 AM

His sinker plus Sano's questionable D at 3B makes me think we might see a lot of Sano being lifted in the 9th for a defensive replacement.


Which is not going to sit well with me after the first time Sano's turn in the order comes up again in the bottom of the 9th or extra innings.


I"d give the job to Hughes if he's healthy.

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#8 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:25 AM


I"d give the job to Hughes if he's healthy.

I don't think Hughes would make a good closer even if healthy. A large portion of a closer's value comes from not giving up home runs, which are the easiest way to tie a close game in the ninth.


And Hughes... Well, he's not exactly top-notch when it comes to preventing home runs.

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#9 gunnarthor


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 11:38 AM

Here's the thing.  I think  you shouldn't make your best relief pitcher the closer and, for a number of years, the Twins arguably didn't.  Everyday Eddie wasn't our best relief pitcher and you can make a case that Nathan wasn't always our best relief pitcher either - Rincon had some pretty dominant years as did Crain although Nathan always had some flashy stats (at least in the regular season).  So having Kintzler get the last three outs in games we have a lead doesn't strike me as a horrible idea although Pressly is about the only bullpen arm I really like right now.

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#10 TheLeviathan


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 12:44 PM

Man I wish we would've given that job to a guy with more upside.  Turn those save stats into profit.

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#11 Riverbrian


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Posted 16 February 2017 - 01:42 PM

He pitched well enough last year to not lose the job. 


As long as he does it well... he should stay in that role. 


I believe he will be replaced eventually this year but I'll fight for his right to keep the job until he actually struggles with the job. 


Molitor needs to get out of any habit of removing players who are actually performing for players that he thinks will perform. 



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#12 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 16 February 2017 - 05:17 PM

Using Kintzler as closer this year feels a lot like using Jepsen as closer last year.


And Molitor will be the last one to figure it out. 

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