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 Заглавие: signed a minor league deal with the Twins that offseason
МнениеПубликувано на: 01 Авг 2017, 11:45 
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For the second straight year, the Twins have dealt away an unlikely all star just weeks after that career milestone.

After sending infielder Eduardo Nunez to the San Francisco Giants for young left hander Adalberto Mejia in July 2016, the Twins sent closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals just before Monday’s 3 p.m. non waiver trade deadline.

In return, the Twins will receive Class A lefty Tyler Watson, a 34th round pick in 2015 rated the Nationals’ 17th best prospect by MLB Pipeline. Watson, 6 foot 5 and 200 pounds, has a modest fastball at 90 mph but draws raves for his curveball and progressing change up.

The 20 year old Watson went 6 4 with a 4.35 earned run average in 18 outings 17 starts for Class A Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League. In 93 innings Watson has struck out 98 while walking 24.

His nine inning strikeout rate of 9.48 ranked seventh in the league. His 2.32 walk rate per nine innings ranked 17th. A high school product of Gilbert, Ariz. http://www.twinsfanaticsjersey.com/robbie-grossman-jersey-c-22.html, Watson signed for 400,000 to bypass a Loyola Marymount commitment.

He was assigned to Class A Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League.

Also sent to the third place Twins, who entered Monday seven games behind the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central, was 500,000 in international bonus pool money for the 2017 18 signing period. That boosts their approved international cap to 5.75 million, on par with any team in the game.

According to multiple sources with direct knowledge , the Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Rays also were among the contending teams showing interest in Kintzler in the final hours. Kintzler, who turns 33 on Tuesday, is a pending free agent working on a one year contract for 2.93 million this season.
Having converted 45 of 52 save chances since moving into the role in early June last season, Kintzler’s improved velocity and strong groundball rate proved attractive enough to net a prospect like Watson. A recent three outing downturn, during which he issued three walks and retired just eight of 17 batters faced with a 13.50 earned run average, had given some teams pause.
Over his previous 38 outings, however http://www.twinsfanaticsjersey.com/miguel-sano-jersey-c-23.html, the undersized right hander had posted a 2.35 ERA with just five walks and a .604 on base plus slugging percentage allowed in 38 1/3 innings.

Had the Twins waited just four more days to promote Kintzler from Triple A Rochester in May 2016, they would have had the journeyman under club control through next season. His opt out date wasn’t until May 15, but he was promoted on May 7 when Casey Fien was claimed off waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Nationals, running away with the National League East, recently added a pair of Oakland A’s relievers — Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson — via trade but were still on the prowl. Nationals pitching coach Mike Maddux, older brother of Hall of Fame pitcher Greg Maddux, could soon benefit from a lesson his brother gave Kintzler http://www.twinsfanaticsjersey.com/oswaldo-arcia-jersey-c-21.html, a fellow Las Vegan, more than a decade ago.

“I was rehabbing my shoulder in 2006, and Greg Maddux was working out at a place I was rehabbing and we talked a little bit,” Kintzler recalled recently. “That’s where I started talking really about two seamers. I always thought it was finger pressure because he moved it so much, but he told me no. That made it a lot easier for me. I didn’t have to worry about finger pressure.”

So what was the secret? Maddux told Kintzler it was where he placed his landing foot in relation to his target.

“He said, ‘I just land over here when I want to throw it outside and land over here when I want to go inside,’ ” Kintzler recalled. “That really simplified it for me. It was awesome.”

Of course, it took Kintzler a couple of years to get the hang of it as he fought his way through independent league assignments in Winnipeg and St. Paul. He got his career on track in 2009 after signing with the Milwaukee Brewers after starting the American Association All Star Game for the Saints.

“I can’t really control my body mechanics that much,” he said. “I started to do it when I first got healthy again. It definitely made my backdoor sinker a lot easier to throw. That’s the pitch. Being able to do that to the glove side is what propelled my career. I started learning that in Double A.”

While right handed batters were hitting .286 with a .330 on base percentage off Kintzler this year, lefties were hitting just .197 and reaching base at a .256 clip in 82 plate appearances. For that Kintzler credits the so called “front hip sinker” that Maddux made famous.

“He just made it look like a ball for a Kurt Suzuki Jersey really long time and brought it in,” Kintzler said. “If it had been finger pressure I would have been screwed. I wouldn’t have been able to figure that out.”

After posting a 2.93 ERA in 135 outings for the Brewers in 2013 14, Kintzler was sidetracked by leg and shoulder issues in 2015. He signed a minor league deal with the Twins that offseason.

Kintzler said he hadn’t been able to thank Maddux personally for the lesson.

“I don’t really see him much,” he said. “He plays golf at all the places I go. I’ll get to run into him one day.”

On Sunday the Twins traded left hander Jaime Garcia to the New York Yankees six days after acquiring him from the Atlanta Braves. They came out of that deal with a pair of minor league pitchers, including Double A right hander Zack Littell, now rated the 16th best prospect in the Twins’ system by MLB Pipeline.


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