Brandon Kintzler continues to rack up saves for a Minnesota Twins team that is remaining competitive in a tight AL Central.
In 2015, at the age of 31, Brandon Kintzler was given the opportunity to close games for a Minnesota Twins team that was scuffling. The Twins had just lost All Star closer, Glen Perkins to an injury and were looking for answers in the bullpen.
Kintzler, a longtime member of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen, was signed by the Twins during the 2015-2016 off-season. Kintzler was coming off of a career worst 6.43 ERA in 7 appearances with the Brewers in 2015.
Before 2015 Kintzler had been a premier set-up man for the Brew Crew. Kintzler logged a 2.69 ERA in 71 appearances in 2013 and a 3.24 ERA in 64 appearances the following season. Kintzler, however failed to register a save in those seasons and was charged with 7 blown saves during that time.
More from Minnesota Twins News
- Minnesota Twins: Grading the Twins’ Joey Gallo signing
- Minnesota Twins: Grading the Christian Vazquez Signing
- Minnesota Twins: Twins jump into Top 5 in first MLB Draft Lottery
- Minnesota Twins: Byron Buxton wins 2022 Bob Feller Act of Valor Award
- Minnesota Twins: A Twins Homage to the Turkey of the Year Award
Flash forward to 2016 post-Perkins injury. The Twins had few in house candidates to take on closing duties, and Kevin Jepsen was granted the first shot. Jepsen repaid the Twins by going 7/11 in save opportunities and posting an ERA of 6.16 before being released in early July.
Kintzler was next in line to assume the closer’s role, and has yet to look back. Kintzler finished the 2016 season by going 17/20 in save opportunities and posting an ERA of 3.15.
He may be here to stay
The off-season was abuzz with rumors as to when Perkins would return, but this time the Twins had an insurance policy. Perkins began the season by being placed on the 60-day disabled list, and Kintzler was once again called on to close out games. To this point in the season Kintzler is 6/6 in save opportunities with an ERA of 0.00 in 10 appearances.
The biggest knock on Kintzler is his lack of ability to generate strikeouts. He posts a K/9 average of just 4.8, well below that expected of a typical closer. Kintzler, however does his damage in a different way. He has excellent control, registering a career BB/9 of 2.3 and has posted an ground ball percentage of 54.95% during his time with the Twins.
With Perkins not expected back anytime soon, Kintzler figures to remain the closer for the foreseeable future. Time will tell if he can keep up his stellar performance.