Saturday, August 21, 2010

Brian Duensing, who are you?

Where the hell did Brian Duensing come from?

Last year he kind of emerged as a dependable long reliever, started getting thrust into pivotal late-inning situations and eventually transitioned to the starting rotation, where he excelled down the stretch. Hell, Duensing was the Twins' starter in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Yankees — at Yankee Stadium, no less, and against CC Sabathia, who earns roughly $25 mil a year while Duensing probably pulled down somewhere around $300K in 2009.

Duensing's back on that horse. Valuable reliever turned starter, and again, the lefty is thriving. He's our best arm in the rotation right now. Which leads back to my original query: where did he come from? I don't remember ever hearing his name prior to the 2009 season, so it's unlikely he was a rising star in the organization.

As I've done with every single question I've ever had, I turned to Google. Here is what I found:

Brian Duensing is 5-11, 205 pounds. He was born Feb. 22, 1983 in Marysville, KS. He went to college at Nebraska and was a third-round draft pick of the Twins in 2005. His career ERA is 2.78 in 168 1/3 innings. This season, Duensing is 7-1 with a 1.92 ERA.

Duensing led the Twins to a decisive 7-2 victory over the Angels on Friday night, allowing a lone run in eight innings (six strikeouts, no walks, six hits) to help the Twins bounce back from the Thursday night debacle against the White Sox. They are back to 20 games over .500 and lead the Sox by 4.5 games in the Central (Chicago was rained out Friday).

In his past two starts, Duensing has allowed one earned run in 17 innings (including a complete-game shutout of Oakland). He's 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA since joining the rotation last month. Oh, and Friday against the Angels, he induced 16 groundball outs.

Not too effin' shabby.

By the way, he's making $417,000 this year. That's a pretty stellar value.

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