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Twins designate Duffey for assignment

A step in the right direction for the bullpen.

Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

After another poor outing last night against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Minnesota Twins announced that they made a move with one of their relievers:

(A couple of corrections with Reusse’s tweet... 1) It’s I.L. now, you old-timer. 2) Jovani Moran is not on the I.L., but was optioned down, which Reusse corrected later.)

Indeed, reliever Tyler Duffey has been designated for assignment by the Twins after yet another outing in which the hurler pushed the team further away from any chances of a comeback victory. It’s a step in the right direction for the bullpen, but understandably a tough decision by the front office as Duffey has been with the team since he was drafted by Minnesota in the fifth round of the 2012 MLB Draft.

The Duff Man broke into the majors in 2015 as a starter and continued in the role in 2016, where he posted a 6.43 ERA/4.73 FIP in 26 starts and 133 innings of work. That season yielded his highest WHIP (1.496) and H/9 (11.3). The Twins moved him to the bullpen for the 2017 season and onward and after riding the shuttle from Rochester to Minneapolis a lot in 2018, he flourished from 2019 through 2021, turning in a 2.69 ERA in 144 innings with a 10.9 K/9 and a 1.063 WHIP.

2022 started out okay, but took a nosedive, leading to a 4.91 ERA/4.80 FIP across 44 innings. His strikeouts dropped to 8.0 K/9 and WHIP rose to 1.364, and has been tagged with three blown saves in five opportunities. He’s also allowed eight homers on the year, compared to six homers combined between 2020 and 2021. If Duffey passes through waivers, he can be refuse assignment and become a free agent. We’ll have to wait and see what transpires over the next few days.

In his place, right-hander Cole Sands has been called up from Triple-A St Paul. Is he much better? Ehhh... He has a 5.59 ERA in St Paul in 13 outings. However, he has promising strikeout numbers (11.4 K/9, 3.39 K/BB ratio) and can fill a long-relief role that the Twins bullpen needs for now.