Judging by my track record so far this post season, Brandon Kitzler will probably sign with someone other than the Cubs within 12 hours of this post going up (Mike Minor signed about 6 hours after my post about him), but I’m going to do it any way.
Kintzler, 33, closed for the Twins until getting traded to the Nationals at the deadline. In 71.1 innings (72 appearances), Kintzler recorded 29 saves, a 3.03 ERA, and a 3.77 FIP. He isn’t going to strike a ton of guys out, just 6.36 per 9 innings, but the righty isn’t going to walk many either (2.7 per 9). Kintzler is a very groundball heavy pitcher, good for both the Cubs infield and playing at Wrigley, getting groundballs about 55% of the time.
This high groundball rate is mostly due to his pitch selection, as he threw his sinker 74.4% of the time. He also has a good slider (13.5%), a fastball (7.6%), and a change up (4.5%), and all of those numbers are very much in line with what he has done throughout his career. His stuff would play nicely with the Cubs great infield defense behind him.
Brandon Kintzler isn’t going to blow anyone away with his stuff, but he’s been a consistently solid pitcher throughout his career. He usually gets a lot of groundballs, throws the ball over the plate (which the Cubs desperately need), and doesn’t give up a lot of home runs. He would be a very good fit in the Cubs bullpen that has struggled with walks, but I don’t see him being the closer. I’m very curious as to what type of contract he will get, as he’s kind of flown beneath the radar so far this offseason.
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