The twins set the right hand reducer Tyler Duffy For designation, as first reported by Patrick Rossi of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (Twitter link). right hand Cole Sands Called from Triple-A St. Paul to take Duffey’s place on the list (and apparently, on the order list at the moment). Minnesota has yet to officially announce this move.
Duffey, who was picked in the fifth round by the Twins in 2012, had a checkered career in Minnesota. He debuted as a rookie in 2015 and quickly looked as if he could hold onto the role for the foreseeable future, hitting a 3.10 ERA with solid strike rates and bullish walking rates that year. However, Duffey was hit for a shocking 6.33 ERA in 133 runs the following year and moved to Bullpen in 2017.
It took a while, but by the 2019 season, Duffey had become an indispensable member of the Twins’ Bullpen. He scored 57 2/3 innings from 2.50 ERA ball and hit 34.5% of his opponents for his 5.9% walk rate that season. From July 28 to September 25 in 2019, Duffy went to 26 consecutive appearances without a run – a total of 23 2/3 innings during which he scored a resplendent 40 to 5 K/BB ratio. He followed that year with a better showing in the abridged 2020 season (1.88 ERA in 24 innings), and while his numbers slipped a step back in 2021, they were still pretty strong (3.18 ERA, 3.49 FIP in 62 1/3 innings).
All in all, from 2019-21, Duffey scored 144 runs with a 2.69 ERA (3.16 FIP) average, 29.8% strike average, 8.2% walk rate and 44.4% ground ball average. On the whole, it was effective late in the dwelling the twins relied on regularly.
But this season was another story entirely. Duffey owns a 4.91 ERA and has already made eight home runs in just 44 rounds of action (1.64 HR/9). His speedball averaged 94 mph in 2019 is now 92.3 mph and has seen his strike rate drop to 21.1% while his walking rate is 8.1% higher by more than 2 percentage points than during the 2019 peak. .
Just like he did in 2019, Duffy put in an impressive performance this summer when he blasted off in a 15 2/3 closing round with a 12 to 3 K/BB ratio from June 17 through July 23, but that hot streak was booked by nightmare bouts of home workouts that resulted in about spheres of influence. Duffey has made several rounds in 20% of his appearances this season (eight out of 40), including five different rounds where he was marked for three runs. From that promising run from mid-June through late July, Duffy produced seven six-stroke runs (two home wrecks) and four walks with three strikes in a total of 4 1/3 innings.
The Minnesota Bullpen has been the team’s biggest flaw this season, and Duffey’s brutal inconsistency played an important role in this Achilles heel. He earned $3.8 million in his final season in control of the club before free agency, which means that any club that claimed they – can’t be traded now that the deadline has passed – would be in trouble for the remaining $1.28 million on this year’s salary. Because of that, it’s likely that no one will claim him, and even if the Twins try to kick him out to Triple-A St. Paul, he can refuse to waive and retain the right to that salary, as is his right as a player with five – more years of MLB service.
As for the 25-year-old Sands, he impressed for 16 rounds in 16 1/3 major league innings during his debut this season, but has a better record in the minor league. Like Duffy, he was a former fifth-round pick (Florida State University, 2018) and has a history of strong showings in the league. While it’s true that Sands took a hard hit at St. Paul this season (5.59 ERA in 48 1/3 frames), he posted an impressive 2.46 ERA through 80 1/3 double-A frames last year and also achieved a 3.00 Secondary ERA in the first His full professional season with the Twins in 2019.
Sands has mainly served as a novice in his career, so it will be interesting to see if Sands’ stuff, similar to Duffey earlier in his career, will play into the pen and allow him to gain a role there going forward. Alternatively, he can simply work in a long relief role until left-wing Jovani Moran returns from the injured list and then returns to St.