Tyler Duffey was a combined 7-8 between Chattanooga and Rochester last season when he received a call that he was headed to Minnesota to join the Twins in Toronto.
To say the young right-hander was surprised by the call-up would be an understatement. His dad had to pick up his passport and then drive with him from New York to Toronto so Duffey could debut against the Blue Jays.
What a difference a few months can make.
As the Twins head into their first spring training game, manager Paul Molitor was clear about what he expects from his 25-year-old, who went 5-1 for Minnesota over the final third of last season.
"I would imagine that it would probably be something fairly significant to get him bumped out of [the rotation]," Molitor told 1500 ESPN Tuesday. "We haven't locked in all five spots. Our expectation is he's going to take hold of one of them."
Duffey was great for the Twins down the stretch last season, posting a 5-1 record with a 3.10 ERA. More impressive is that he made those starts during meaningful games and innings for a team that was in the thick of a postseason race.
If he is likely to get one of the spots to go with Ervin Santana, Phil Hughes and Kyle Gibson that means the Twins really have just one spot in the rotation to figure out between Tommy Milone, Ricky Nolasco, Trevor May and Jose Berrios.