Monday, March 17, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Casey Fien

Minnesota became the third organization in Casey Fien's career. He began his career in the Tigers organization before a brief stint with the Astros but his time in Minnesota is where he really began to shine. He was part of a strong back-end of the bullpen for the Twins that included closer Glen Perkins and set-up man Jared Burton. These three men will be relied on heavily during the 2014 season.

When it comes down to the final cuts, the Twins might need to try and find room for an extra starter out in the bullpen. This could leave some question marks around some of the less experienced players but Fien's performance was strong enough to mean he should be locked-in for most of next season.

2013 Recap: 3.92 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 73 SO, 12 BB (62.0 IP)
Twins fans saw a lot of Casey Fien during his rookie season with the club. His numbers were impressive enough for him to be named the club's most outstanding rookie as he beat out the likes of top prospects Oswaldo Arcia and Aaron Hicks. His 17 holds were second on the team to Jared Burton and this number was high enough to rank him in the top 25 for the American League. Among Twins pitchers with a minimum of 60 innings pitched, he had the second highest strikeout rate as he only trailed Perkins in that category. Minnesota needed to turn to the bullpen a lot and he was one of eight relief pitchers to toss more than 45 frames. His 1.02 WHIP also ranked him in the top 12 of the AL compared to other relief pitchers with a minimum of 50 innings.

Forecasting 2014: 3.45 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 65 SO, 15 BB (60.0 IP)
There will likely be some shifts when it comes to the numbers compiled by Fien in 2014. It would seem unnatural for his WHIP to be that low for two seasons in a row so a slight rise in that department can be expected. He will use his experience from last season to keep his strike out rate nearly the same and his ERA will be close to half a run lower. As Burton is starting to age, I think Fien will get many more opportunities to be used as the set-up man this season. The hope is Minnesota will be relying less on their bullpen so many of the men out there will pitch fewer innings this year. Fien will still be one of the most reliable men out of the bullpen and I could see him being a player that surprises many and outperforms even the numbers that are estimated above.

25-Man Roster Safety: Locked-In

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