Chase De Jong is also on the move, as the 6’4″ righty has been reassigned to minor league camp. De Jong’s reassignment cuts the Twins’ number of pitchers in camp down to 21. They have 44 players remaining in camp overall, 13 of whom are of the non-roster invitee variety.
Duffey, 28, spent parts of the last four seasons with the big league club, most notably as a starter in 2016 when he took the hill 26 times for a 9-12 record and a 6.43 ERA (4.73 FIP) across 133 frames. A move to the bullpen in 2017 provided a boost to his K-rate as he logged 8.5 K/9 versus his 7.7 K/9 mark as a starter in 2016, but he wasn’t able to repeat those numbers in 2018. Duffey has little left to prove at Triple-A as he once again put together a strong year with the Rochester Red Wings, striking out 9.61 batters per nine while mostly working as a long man, logging 59 innings in only 31 appearances out of the pen. A 2.90 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 3.35 xFIP looks good – but those results did not translate to Target Field where he accumulated -0.2 WAR while marking a 7.20 ERA (5.36 FIP, 4.29 xFIP) in 25 innings. Though he’ll begin the season back at Rochester, there’s a decent chance Duffey returns at some point to the Twins bullpen in 2019.
De Jong, 25, made four starts in his first season with Minnesota last year, going 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA (4.92 FIP). The former 2nd round draft selection of the Blue Jays also saw time in the Dodgers and Mariners organizations before coming to Minnesota in the Zach Duke deal last July. He is likely ticketed to return to Triple-A to start the year after a rough spring in which he surrendered 12 earned runs in 10 1/3 innings of work. Both he and Duffey have one option year remaining, though De Jong faces a longer return road to the majors, as he is not currently on the Twins 40-man roster.