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Column: Tyler Duffey gets one chance to stay a starter


Brian Mozey

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blog-0669043001439597063.jpgTyler Duffey, a starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start Saturday against the Cleveland Indians. The start on Saturday will be a make or break start with starting pitcher Jose Berrios eyeing a turn in the majors.

 

Duffey, a 24-year-old pitcher from Texas, will be starting his second game in his big league career. His first start didn’t go as planned against the red hot Toronto Blue Jays in a 9-7 loss where he gave up six runs in two innings.

With that start in the minds of Duffey and the Twins organization, this upcoming start is his last chance to prove himself in the majors. His stats in Triple-A have been impressive throughout the season, but those stats need to transfer into the MLB.

 

Duffey has a 2.54 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over this season in Triple-A Rochester with 122 strikeouts over 138 innings. His latest start happened on August 11 where Duffey pitched six scoreless innings with five strikeouts resulting in a 7-0 win for Rochester.

 

Duffey has one chance to impress the Twins franchise; otherwise Berrios is waiting in the wings to take over the rotation spot. Berrios has been the top-pitching prospect in the Twins farm system and has shown outstanding numbers in Triple-A this season.

 

Berrios is ranked 25 in the MLB.com Prospect Watch list and ranked 3 in the Minnesota Twins farm system.

Berrios started the 2015 season in Double-A Chattanooga where he posted a 3.08 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP with 92 strikeouts over 90 innings. Then, on June 30, Berrios was promoted to Triple-A Rochester where his stats included a 3.02 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP with 43 strikeouts over 44 innings.

 

When starting pitcher Tommy Milone went on the 15-DL with a flexor strain in his left elbow, Berrios was in consideration of being called up to the Twins. Later, the decision was made to call up Duffey against the Toronto Blue Jays.

 

The consideration happened again within these past couple weeks when Phil Hughes went on the 15-DL with inflammation in his lower back. There were a couple spots open on the 40-man roster and one opening on the 25-man active roster. Once again, Berrios wasn’t the choice to be promoted and instead Duffey was brought up to pitch for August 15 game and Trevor May was brought up from the bullpen to start on August 14.

 

Berrios has the highest chance to be promoted in September and show he deserves a spot in the rotation for seasons to come. I have a feeling that he will impress the franchise and he will become a number two or three, maybe number one, pitcher in the future.

 

With prospects like Eddie Rosario, Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and, soon, Jose Berrios, the Minnesota Twins are relying on their young players to carry the team to a playoff season. Along with veterans like Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier, Torii Hunter and Trevor Plouffe, the young players will be able to learn from seasoned professionals to guide the Twins in a new direction.

 

The Twins aren’t out of contention yet for the American League Wild Card, so if things can turn around quickly, I can see the team making a run at the postseason this year.

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Wow! His last chance? Ever? To make the majors? At 24? WOW! If every pitcher in MLB who blew his first two starts never got another chance, there would be about 12 pitchers currently in the majors.

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I didn't say ever. I just meant this year because Berrios will be coming up in September more than likely. I'm not saying Duffey is a bad pitcher because his stats in Triple-A are impressive. I'm saying that Berrios is looking just as good as Duffey, so the spot in the rotation is up for grabs. Duffey will be in the rotation in years to come, but as for this year, Saturday will be his make or break start. 

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.....With that start in the minds of Duffey and the Twins organization, this upcoming start is his last chance to prove himself in the majors. His stats in Triple-A have been impressive throughout the season, but those stats need to transfer into the MLB. >>>>>>>. Ok, so I got a little carried away with my sarcasm. As you did with your prediction of pending doom! My comment was mostly driven by my frustration with the constant labeling of players as successful or as failures after a few games. And it seems this year it's exacerbated with the number of younger players. It's a tough game, it takes years to master. But, alas we live in the "instant gratification" age of unenlightnenment!

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Teams see things in pitchers that make the team thinks that pitcher can get outs in the majors.  They will get chances.

Duffrey is on pace to throw more innings than he ever has in pro ball would lead me to believe he could be around as a bullpen arm for September.

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