Brandon Kintzler
Brandon Kintzler
35-Year-Old PitcherRP
Chicago Cubs
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Kintzler was a predictable pitcher to lose his closer role in 2018 because his saves in 2017 were more opportunity-based than they were skills-based. In a day and age of closers blowing pitches by batters, Kintzler simply lacks the swing and miss necessary to be consistently successful in high-leverage situations (career 16.5 K%, 7.6% swinging-strike rate). His value these days comes from an ability to generate groundballs in the setup innings, but even that skill has been in a three-season decline to the point that he is only a slightly above-average groundball pitcher rather than an extreme one. After he exercised his $5 million player option to remain with the Cubs in 2019, there is no reason to roster Kintzler on draft day. His secondary skills do not offer enough to keep him around without an official closer label hanging off his jersey. Read Past Outlooks
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$Exercised his $5 million player option for 2019 in October of 2018.
Earns win in relief
PChicago Cubs
August 21, 2019
Kintzler (3-2) picked up the win against the Giants on Wednesday after tossing a scoreless inning that included two strikeouts and a hit.
With the Cubs trailing 11-10, Kintzler came into the eighth inning and positioned his team for the win by preventing any run damage. Teammate Kris Bryant then hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the frame to grant Kintzler and the Cubs the victory. Through 51 appearances this season, the right-handed reliever owns a 2.45 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with a team-leading 15 holds.
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Pitching Stats
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .209 329 52 33 61 14 3 6
Since 2017vs Right .283 437 76 18 115 16 3 9
2019vs Left .169 85 17 7 13 4 1 1
2019vs Right .248 130 29 6 30 5 1 4
2018vs Left .264 105 19 16 23 7 1 3
2018vs Right .299 158 24 6 44 6 2 2
2017vs Left .195 139 16 10 25 3 1 2
2017vs Right .297 149 23 6 41 5 0 3
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 4.24 1.34 93.1 7 3 12 5.9 2.4 0.7
Since 2017Away 2.71 1.10 93.0 3 6 19 6.5 2.5 0.8
2019Home 0.89 0.79 30.1 3 0 0 7.4 1.2 0.0
2019Away 5.25 1.33 24.0 0 3 0 7.9 3.4 1.9
2018Home 7.67 1.93 27.0 1 2 1 6.7 4.3 1.3
2018Away 2.14 1.10 33.2 2 1 1 6.1 2.4 0.3
2017Home 4.50 1.36 36.0 3 1 11 4.0 2.0 0.8
2017Away 1.53 0.93 35.1 1 2 18 5.9 2.0 0.5
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Stat Review
How does Brandon Kintzler compare to other relievers?
This section compares his stats with all relief pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 30 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against this season's data (min 20 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
92.6 mph
Left On Base
Exit Velocity
89.2 mph
Spin Rate
2053 rpm
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
Swinging Strike
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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166 days ago
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Strikeouts are not part of the package with Kintzler (6.1 career K/9, 4.9 in 2017), but he was effective in the closer role for Minnesota, converting 28 of 32 save chances last season before being traded to the Nationals. His success was due in large part to the groundball -- Kintzler gave something back in that regard last season, but still had a well above-average 54.9 percent groundball rate -- and sharp control. Kintzler has issued a total of 24 walks over the past two seasons (125.2 innings). Even so, the indicators weren't all that favorable (3.77 FIP, 4.36 xFIP, 4.25 SIERA) as Kintzler had a pretty dramatic reverse platoon split (.293/.336/.399), but groundball specialists are especially valuable in today's home-run environment. He'll remain in a setup role after re-signing with Washington, working ahead of Ryan Madson and Sean Doolittle.
Kintzler was an unheralded minor league signing last season as the Twins signed him for depth and he began the season at Triple-A. After Glen Perkins was lost for the year due to injury and Kevin Jepsen proved ineffective, Kintzler surprisingly got a shot at the closer role in June and kept the job the rest of the season. While Kintzler had just a 5.8 K/9, he kept batters off base with good control (1.33 BB/9) and generated groundballs (61.9 percent of batted balls), leading to conversions on 17 of 20 save chances. Despite his success, he's just as unlikely a candidate to keep the job given his lack of dominant velocity (92.7 mph average fastball) and mediocre strikeout rates (career 6.5 K/9). However, his success as a closer last season should give him the first chance at the role in 2016.
Kintzler had a quality season pitching in middle relief, but he was not as effective as he was the year before, as he had some trouble with the long ball and saw his strikeout rate fall. He has been a regular out of the Brewers’ bullpen the last couple seasons and will likely be one again in 2015, but he had a 4.74 FIP last season, so he will need to sharpen things up to hold down his spot.
Kintzler was a steady middle reliever for the Brewers in 2013, posting a 2.69 ERA and a miniscule 1.07 WHIP. He is not a big strikeout pitcher, but he does a good job keeping runners off the bases, and also keeping the ball in the park. Kintzler fared well pitching in late innings in the 2013 season, and as one of the more experienced relievers in the bullpen, he has a good chance to remain in that role in 2014.
Kintzler has been plagued by arm injuries the last couple seasons, but he was back at full strength by the end of last season and held his own in a September stint with the big club. Kintzler isn't a big strikeout pitcher despite throwing a mid-90s fastball, but he has given himself a chance to earn a spot in the Brewers' bullpen by pitching well in the minors the last couple seasons. Look for him to work in middle relief if he pitches well this spring.
Kintzler's season was cut short due to a stress fracture in his right arm after just 14.2 innings. He'll get a chance to earn a bullpen spot during spring training, but needs to eliminate his extreme vulnerability to the long ball (five allowed in 22 career big league innings) in order to secure his role as a middle reliever in Milwaukee.
Kintzler moved all the way from Double-A Huntsville to the majors in 2010, using a combination of control and groundballs. He'll get a chance to earn a bullpen role during spring training, but there's not a future closer skill set in play here.
More Fantasy News
Blows save against Pirates
PChicago Cubs
August 16, 2019
Kintzler allowed one run on one hit and three walks while recording only one out during a blown save in a 3-2 loss to the Pirates on Friday.
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Activated from injured list
PChicago Cubs
August 16, 2019
Kintzler (pectoral) was activated off the 10-day injured list Friday, Jordan Bastian of reports.
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Expected back Friday
PChicago Cubs
August 15, 2019
Kintzler (pectoral) is expected to be activated from the 10-day injured list Friday, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.
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Could return Friday
PChicago Cubs
August 13, 2019
Kintzler (pectoral) could be activated prior to Friday's game in Pittsburgh, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
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Tosses bullpen Saturday
PChicago Cubs
August 10, 2019
Kintzler (pectoral) threw a bullpen Saturday, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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