Brandon Kintzler Makes Effective Cubs Debut, Takes Issue With Anyone Claiming He's a Divisive Clubhouse Presence

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Brandon Kintzler Makes Effective Cubs Debut, Takes Issue With Anyone Claiming He’s a Divisive Clubhouse Presence

Chicago Cubs

Although Cole Hamels’ Cubs debut will capture most of the headlines today, it was also newly-acquired reliever Brandon Kintzler’s debut – on his 34th birthday, no less – with 1.1 scoreless.

Therein, he showed off his funky delivery and a nasty slider:

Hopefully Kintzler will be another stabilizing presence in the Cubs’ bullpen, as he generally doesn’t get hit hard, but still manages to stay consistently in the strike zone. The up-and-down relievers from Iowa have gotten great results this year, but the reality was, the peripherals for all of them except Anthony Bass were always pretty scary, and it was not necessarily a situation where you wanted to be counting on several of them down the stretch.

Moreover, you didn’t want to have to keep leaning so hard on only a few key relievers in August and September, thus ensuring they would once again be totally ground down by the time the playoffs arrive. The ability to spread around the innings – especially those really important innings – is key.

As for yesterday’s bonkers story the Nationals were trying to sell – that they traded Kintzler away on the cheap in part because he was a clubhouse snitch to the media – Kintzler offered up his thoughts after arriving with the Cubs:

The Cubs’ front office is absurdly diligent in its process discerning the people behind the player, and the Nationals really have been a mess, so I wasn’t especially concerned when the story came out in the first place. But after hearing from Theo Epstein yesterday, dismissing any concerns about Kintzler, and hearing from Kintzler himself (as well as his now former teammate Sean Doolittle), there’s just no way you can be worried about him in the clubhouse.

Oh, also, he’s a really good reliever: he had a few blow-ups to begin the season, but since April 11, he has a 2.25 ERA and a 3.01 FIP. Also fun: over the past month, Kintzler’s groundball rate has shot up to a whopping 63.2%!

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.