I think they shortchanged the Twins in this article.
1.) Brandon Kintzler has been used for a 4 out save twice this year. That’s more than most teams in the majors and is especially bold because Kintzler is not that good.
2.) Tyler Duffey, though in the starting conversation in spring training, has been used in a very Andrew Miller-esque role this season. Past Twins teams would have used him as a long man when starters get beat up but Duffey has not entered a game where the Twins trailed by more than 2 and has only twice pitched in a game the Twins were up by 4 or more runs – he’s been used in high leverage roles. Duffey has pitched single innings at times and multiple innings at others. He comes in in the 5th of a close game and has pitched the 7th and 8th as a more traditional set-up man. Though he is arguably the Twins best reliever (I’d take him over Kintzler and though Craig Breslow has a lower ERA, he is still Craig Breslow) and has pitched the most innings.
I’m not sure I’d call Molitor an innovator but in today’s game where having a closer is pretty standard, he’s way closer to innovative than this article gives him credit. He’s not afraid to bring his closer into the 8th inning and Tyler Duffey belongs in the conversation of guys used like Andrew Miller was in the playoffs.
To me the Twins should be in that 25-27 range with the Rays, Dodgers and Red Sox. Thoughts?