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Innovative Bullpen Use

tyler duffey bullpen kintzler molitor
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#1 ThejacKmp

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 08:16 AM

I think they shortchanged the Twins in this article.

 

http://www.espn.com/...n-not-televised

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?

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#2 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:09 AM

Yeah, I guess. Molitor really doesn't have the bullpen bullets yet so some of it might just be him being forced to do this. He trusts Kinztler a lot in the closer role but he doesn't really have the big set up arms yet (Pressley should get there).  I think once we start bringing up arms like Burdi, Chargois, Melotakis, Jay etc, we'll know more about how the new FO wants the bullpen used.

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#3 spycake

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:24 AM

Duffey's 1.30 gmLI ranks 72nd among "qualified relievers" in MLB right now, per Fangraphs:

 

http://www.fangraphs...10,d&page=1_500

 

He also only has 4 "shutdowns" versus 5 "meltdowns" (those are games where he has added or subtracted at least 0.06 WPA).  Those rank only 103rd best, and 9th worst, in MLB, per Fangraphs.

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#4 drjim

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:52 AM

Duffey had a nice start to the season, and we talk a lot about him, but I'm starting to suspect he's just not that good.

Seems his usage in situations where the Twins are trailing seems acceptable.
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#5 Mike Sixel

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 09:57 AM

 

Duffey had a nice start to the season, and we talk a lot about him, but I'm starting to suspect he's just not that good.

Seems his usage in situations where the Twins are trailing seems acceptable.

 

It does seem to have gone the wrong way lately.....but I am still a believer for some reason.

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I don't know, it is a site to discuss sports, not airline safety.....maybe we should take it less seriously?


#6 spycake

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:14 AM

 

Duffey had a nice start to the season, and we talk a lot about him, but I'm starting to suspect he's just not that good.

Yeah, I peg Duffey as probably a ~115 ERA+ reliever, which isn't bad but it's not exactly a bullpen weapon.

 

Which is why I've been advocating for Duffey to get stretched out for rotation work again.  We need at least one more starter, perhaps two (for Hughes), and if Duffey could even turn in league-average starting work, that would be of significant value.

 

Looking at other relievers in Duffey's spot in the pen would have value too -- we need to start trying to identify guys that can help at the top.


#7 drjim

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:28 AM

Yeah, I peg Duffey as probably a ~115 ERA+ reliever, which isn't bad but it's not exactly a bullpen weapon.

Which is why I've been advocating for Duffey to get stretched out for rotation work again. We need at least one more starter, perhaps two (for Hughes), and if Duffey could even turn in league-average starting work, that would be of significant value.

Looking at other relievers in Duffey's spot in the pen would have value too -- we need to start trying to identify guys that can help at the top.


I personally have less confidence in his ability to start.

Probably going to be the 6th or 7th guy in a decent pen.
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#8 gunnarthor

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 10:32 AM

Had Duffey thrown harder in the pen yet? If his approach is to pitch like a starter and not push a bit, we might not see improvement.


#9 ThejacKmp

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:17 PM

Not sure where you are looking, but Kintzler has only entered in the 8th for a save twice this year, not 4 times.

6 of Duffey's 13 appearances this year have come with the Twins trailing. By comparison, only 2 of Miller's 16 appearances this year have come with his team trailing. Only 1 of his 10 postseason games last year came with his team trailing (and that was in the ultimate elimination game, World Series Game 7).

It's still early, though, so we can see how these trends develop. Definitely feels like Molitor only trusts 3 guys at the moment, and one of those is a lefty specialist.

I said 4 out saves twice, not four 8th inning appearances. I think it's pretty clearly written too.

He's in close games, which I think is the point. He's also being used to come into innings where there's mess on base (I didn't look at the game logs but I watch enough Twins baseball to know this is true). Duffey seems to be the guy they bring in to put out the fire and then go another inning or two. I hope he continues to be used this way, he's the guy I feel best with.

Larger point: Thus far this season, Molitor is one of the most innovative bullpen managers in the game. Things may change over time but the Reds would fall in the same boat of "How good are these guys, it's that the reason for the shuffling?"

Edited by ThejacKmp, 19 May 2017 - 01:22 PM.


#10 spycake

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:58 PM

 

I said 4 out saves twice, not four 8th inning appearances. I think it's pretty clearly written too.

Sorry, my bad, I misread it! I guess I don't think of them as "four out saves" as much as "eighth inning entrances" so the number 4 just jumped out at me more. My apologies.

 

The linked article is pretty subjective, but they lay out some strong evidence that Colome and Jansen have been used more aggressively than Kintzler, and possibly Kimbrel too (although that is a small enough difference as to be opportunity-driven?).

 

And I still think you are over-rating the Duffey factor -- he's pretty much been used like you would expect a starter would be used in his first (non-demotion) bullpen deployment.  Not in highest leverage,  with almost half of his appearances coming in games when his team was already trailing.  Slightly longer outings than normal, but he's only 41st in MLB in relief innings.  A bunch of guys (~15) ahead of him on that list are averaging similar or more innings per appearance too. Nothing about his usage strikes me as particularly innovative for 2017, even though his performance has definitely been appreciated.

 

How many teams have a guy like Duffey in their pen right now?

Edited by spycake, 19 May 2017 - 02:03 PM.


#11 spycake

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 01:59 PM

6 of Duffey's 13 appearances this year have come with the Twins trailing.By comparison, only 2 of Miller's 16 appearances this year have come with his team trailing.Only 1 of his 10 postseason games last year came with his team trailing (and that was in the ultimate elimination game, World Series Game 7).

It's still early, though, so we can see how these trends develop.Definitely feels like Molitor only trusts 3 guys at the moment, and one of those is a lefty specialist.


#12 drjim

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:01 PM

6 of Duffey's 13 appearances this year have come with the Twins trailing. By comparison, only 2 of Miller's 16 appearances this year have come with his team trailing. Only 1 of his 10 postseason games last year came with his team trailing (and that was in the ultimate elimination game, World Series Game 7).

It's still early, though, so we can see how these trends develop. Definitely feels like Molitor only trusts 3 guys at the moment, and one of those is a lefty specialist.


Not sure where you got a third guy he trusts.
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#13 nicksaviking

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:04 PM

 

Had Duffey thrown harder in the pen yet? If his approach is to pitch like a starter and not push a bit, we might not see improvement.

 

He's add 2 MPH to the fastball, which seems pretty typical of the switch.

 

It's still only 92MPH. Better than 90 though I guess.


#14 spycake

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:05 PM

 

Not sure where you got a third guy he trusts.

I guess Rogers?  Admittedly just for limited match-ups.


#15 drjim

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:06 PM

I think Molitor has pushed starters (and Kintzler) a little more than he'd like because of the lack of trust. I think he's really hoping for Pressly to get right.

I would call up Burdi.
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#16 drjim

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:07 PM

I guess Rogers? Admittedly just for limited match-ups.


I counted him as one of the two. But Pressly is probably getting close. He uses Belisle because he has no other choice.
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#17 spycake

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 02:14 PM

 

I counted him as one of the two. But Pressly is probably getting close. He uses Belisle because he has no other choice.

Actually, I was counting Duffey among the 3... but now I don't know anymore :)

 

Belisle and Pressly definitely fell out of favor there for a while, but you're right that Pressly will probably get more chances soon, simply due to lack of alternatives.


#18 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:13 PM

 

Had Duffey thrown harder in the pen yet? If his approach is to pitch like a starter and not push a bit, we might not see improvement.

Quite a bit harder.

 

Fastball velo:

2015: 90.2

2016: 90.4

2017: 92.1


#19 VirginSturgeon

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 03:26 PM

Relief appearances like the one Pressly had yesterday are definitely encouraging. His breaking ball seems to be much improved since the start of the season. Hitters can't sit dead red on his fastball lately it seems. Hope there is more to come from him because he can be a shut down reliever. We need him badly to be a 7th and 8th setup man because the options right now are below average for sure.

#20 DocBauer

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Posted 19 May 2017 - 06:58 PM

I've seen a few questionable moves to be sure, but I think Paul has used the pen much more effectively this season.

I like Kintzler in his role. He's taken it, run with it, and even shown some signs of improvement. Duffey has largely been good to solid overall. Rogers has done about everything asked of him. But no question Pressly getting straightened out is HUGE. Even if Burro or Chargois came up tomorrow throwing bullets, having him and Pressly creates a much better pen. I like where we're headed...but we do need a couple re-inforcements

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