As MLB approached the trading deadline, the Minnesota Twins were actively pursuing big names Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, and Roy Oswalt. Unfortunately, the small market Twins were not able to fill their starting rotation with any of those stars. Their consolation prize was to add Matt Capps to bolster the bullpen.
So, when Kevin Slowey went on the DL, and Nick Blackburn struggled, Minnesota turned to Brian Duensing. Duensing had spent the first four months as the long reliever in the Minnesota bulllpen.
Duensing has been nothing short of phenomenal since joining the rotation on July 23. The southpaw, a member of the 2008 bronze medal winning Olympic team, is 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA and 0.96 WHIP in his last four starts. Last year, Duensing went 5-2, 3.64, 1.37, in 24 games and 9 starts. On the year, Duensing is 7-2, 2.19, 1.04 in 7 starts and 46 games.
“It’s always nice to be able to fill from within your organization and not have to give up a lot of prospects to go get someone,” said Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire. “When you have a guy like Duensing — we know he’s out in the bullpen and does a good job out there — but we also know he’s someone we can go to if something happens, and that’s very important.”
Duensing does not have overpowering stuff, but he hits his spots and lets catcher Joe Mauer work to his strengths.
Brian Duensing is a two start pitcher for the week of August 30. He’ll be pitching at Target Field, facing the Tigers and the Rangers, where he’s 4-1 with a 1.36 ERA on the year.
The southpaw, who pitched at Nebraska on the same team as Joba Chamberlin, and wrote a blog while at the Olympics, is owned in just 64% of leagues according to CBS Sports. Moreover, he’s only on 40% of leagues Major League rosters.
It’s time for fantasy baseball managers to recognize that Brian Duensing is ready for prime time as the Twins fight for a playoff position.