Hildenberger tossed a perfect ninth inning Wednesday to record his fifth save of the season in a 4-3 win over Cleveland.
He needed only eight pitches (seven strikes) to close things out. Hildenberger seems to have settled down a little since taking over as the primary ninth-inning option for the Twins, posting a 3.52 ERA in his last seven appearances while converting all five of his save chances, but his 6:4 K:BB in 7.2 innings over that stretch is far from dominant and he's likely to be a volatile fantasy asset down the stretch.
Hildenberger picked up his third save of the season Wednesday against the Pirates, issuing a walk and striking one batter out in a scoreless ninth inning.
HIldenberger needed just 14 pitches -- eight of which were strikes -- to convert his third consecutive save opportunity, allowing a one-out walk before inducing a game-ending double-play. The 27-year-old has certainly been shaky at times this season, as evidenced by his 4.58 ERA, but he appears to be the Twins' No. 1 option in the ninth inning following Fernando Rodney's departure.
Hildenberger pitched a scoreless ninth to record the save against the Pirates on Tuesday, allowing one hit while issuing no walks and recording no strikeouts.
Hildenberger induced a groundout before allowing a single, after which he got Adeiny Hechavarria to ground into a game-ending double-play, retiring the side on seven pitches. This was the second straight save opportunity converted by the right-hander, but it comes after four consecutive appearances in which Hildenberger allowed at least two runs. His ERA stood at 3.54 before those outings, yet he still has a decent 1.29 WHIP on the year. The 27-year-old looks like the primary option in the ninth inning, ahead of Addison Reed.
Hildenberger threw a scoreless inning in Monday's loss at Pittsburgh. He's thrown 1.1 scoreless innings in two appearances this season with two walks and no strikeouts.
Hildenberger struggled in spring training with a 7.50 ERA and 10 walks in 12 innings. However, he was reportedly working on his slider during the spring. The coaching staff looks to still have faith in him, but his two walks and no strikeouts so far are not encouraging.
Hildenberger gave up three runs and a home run in an inning to see his spring ERA rise to 10.29 in Friday's spring out. However, he's been working on his slider and not using his changeup in spring training, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Hildenberger looked set to be a key setup man for the Twins, but he's given up eight runs in seven innings with just three strikeouts and four walks. It looks like he'll still make the bullpen and could be just working on new pitches, but his spring performance is still a reason for concern.
|9/19/2018 vs Detroit|
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|2015||AFX-Cedar Rapids Kernels||2||1||0.80||28||0||0||0||14||45.0||24||6||4||0||1||5||59|
|2015||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||1||1||3.32||13||0||0||0||3||19.0||15||7||7||0||1||2||21|
|2016||AFA-Fort Myers Miracle||1||1||0.96||6||0||0||0||3||9.1||11||2||1||0||0||0||8|
|2017||AAA-Rochester Red Wings||2||1||2.05||21||0||0||0||6||30.2||27||7||7||1||1||8||35|