Q&A with Brian Duensing

brian duensing mug

This weekend is do or die for the Twins. The squad enters the 3-game series against Detroit 4 ½ games behind the first place Tigers. Rookie Brian Duensing starts the opener on Friday for the home team. The 26-year-old lefthander has been impressive in limited action this year, going 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA in 20 appearances, including 6 starts.

I caught up with the Duensing before Tuesday’s game to discuss his rookie year, the biggest start of his life and the Olympics.

DZ: I imagine this has been a pretty memorable year for you, getting to the big leagues, having some success - could you talk a little about that?

DUENSING: So far it’s been a really fun year - a very unexpected year. I was hoping to eventually get up here, but I wasn’t expecting to break camp with the squad and then to be able to get back and help the team win has been a lot of fun.

DZ: Obviously there’s an adjustment period for anyone who comes up from Triple A to pitch in the big leagues, have you thrown a pitch this year that you thought was a good pitch and someone just cranked it?

DUENSING: I don’t remember giving up a homer on a good pitch, but I remember giving up a couple of doubles or a really hard single that I thought was a really good pitch. That’s why (the hitters) are up here also.

DZ: This has got to be a thrill, pitching in a pennant race. You’ve got a big start on Friday against the first place Tigers, you pretty much need a sweep at this point. What’s your mindset going into a big game like that?

DUENSING: It’s tough, we know it’s a pennant race, we know it’s going to be a big series, but at the same time I think the first thing I have to go in thinking it’s like any other start - I have to go out there and do what I can do, that’s the only thing I can control. I can’t control how we’re going to do offensively or how we are going to do defensively, but I have to just go out and give our team a chance to win.

DZ: You still have some work to do this year and you don’t want to look too far ahead, but you are in the rotation now and I imagine you want to start next year in that same position.

DUENSING: Yeah, I would love to, but obviously that’s way, way…that’s something I don’t want to think about right now. There’s a lot of stuff that’s going to happen in the off-season, a lot of guys are going to be getting healthy - I am just kind of enjoying the moment right now.

DZ: You played at (the University of) Nebraska with (the Yankees) Joba Chamberlain and (Kansas City’s) Alex Gordon, are you still close to those guys, do you keep in touch with them?

DUENSING: Yeah, I keep in touch with them. I try to hang out with them once or twice in the off-season. I talked to Alex just the other day when they were up here before he got sent down. I talked to Joba over the All Star break. That’s about it, but they’re good friends.

DZ: A little over a year ago you were in the Olympics which had to be a pretty cool experience, I saw you did some blogging over there - how did that come about?

DUENSING: Actually I was doing a blog for the (Rochester) Red Wings and Team USA found out I was doing it and asked if they could cover it and next thing I know it’s all over the place…it was a lot of fun.

DZ: Obviously, you wanted to win a gold, but it’s got to be pretty cool to get an Olympic medal.

DUENSING: That was probably the best thing ever, just going through the award ceremony, getting the medal. I wish we would could have won gold, I feel like we had a good enough team to do it, but a bronze is better than nothing.

DZ: What did you do with the medal, where is it now?

DUENSING: It’s in a shadow box at home - right now it’s in a safety deposit box. I’ve got a lot of (Olympic) stuff hanging up around the house.

DZ: I suppose everybody wanted to see that when you got home.

DUENSING: Yeah, we were going to put it in the shadow box right away, but we kind of backed out of that because everyone wanted to see it and taking it in and out was kind of a hassle.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

September 3: Jon Rauch
August 28: Nick Punto
August 27: Scott Baker
August 18: Jason Kubel
August 16: Carl Pavano
July 28: Justin Morneau
July 15: Anthony Swarzak
July 10: Bobby Keppel
July 8: Denard Span

2 Responses to “Q&A with Brian Duensing”

  1. Catching Up with Jeff Manship » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] 16: Brian Duensing September 3: Jon Rauch August 28: Nick Punto August 27: Scott Baker August 18: Jason Kubel August […]

  2. Morneau on the Injury, the Metrodome & More » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] 18: Jeff Manship September 16: Brian Duensing September 3: Jon Rauch August 28: Nick Punto August 27: Scott Baker August 18: Jason Kubel August […]

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