The Minnesota Twins have made a pair of veteran bullpen additions. Is that the end of the bullpen additions that will be needed?
The Minnesota Twins announced the signing of Zach Duke on Tuesday and earlier signed Fernando Rodney, two veteran relievers to add to a young, talented bullpen. Is that all that is needed for the unit?
The Twins have signed two veteran relief arms. Let’s first look at those two arms.
Fernando Rodney has certainly received some level of crud over his career for his ERA, but the truth of the matter is that the man has recorded 300 career saves, something that just 26 pitchers have done in history.
In 2017, Rodney was able to save 39 games, and while he did have a 4.23 ERA, he posted a 3.03 FIP with a 28.1% strikeout rate. He continued to produce a 52.2% ground ball rate, one of the calling cards of his career, as he’s posted a 50.6% ground ball rate over his career.
Rodney also brings a level of velocity that wasn’t present at the beginning of the 2017 season in the Minnesota Twins bullpen, with an average four-seam velocity of 95.4 MPH along with a change up that comes in at 83.9 MPH. His primary pitch is his sinker, which averages 94.1 MPH.
Zach Duke returned from Tommy John surgery in 2017, throwing just 18 1/3 innings, with a 3.93 ERA. While he didn’t get the swing and miss he had in his career previous, he had very similar lines otherwise, with a 50.9% ground ball rate.
Duke’s average fastball velocity of 88 MPH is right in line with his pre-surgery velocity, and he works with a curve and slider that he throws from multiple arm angles from the left side, making him incredibly difficult for lefties to square up.
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