If any player has been underrated for the Minnesota Twins this season, it very well may be reliever Alex Burnett.
The last time the right-handed Burnett gave up a run was May 23. He extended that scoreless streak to 16 total innings by tossing 1-13 shutout innings in the Twins' 6-4 win Monday in Detroit.
Burnett entered Monday's game with two outs in the seventh inning, replacing reliever Anthony Swarzak. After Detroit sent up left-handed hitting Brennan Boesch as a pinch hitter, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire brought in Burnett to take over for the fellow right-hander Swarzak.
A look at Burnett's splits helps explain the decision to have him face Boesch instead of one of Minnesota's left-handed relievers. Prior to Monday, left-handers were batting .170 against Burnett. Right-handers, meanwhile, were hitting .230 against Burnett. The slugging percentages? Lefties slugged just .170, while righties were slugging .345 before Monday.
Sure enough, Burnett thrived against the lefty Boes...