Brian signed a two-year contract in January, returning to the Cubs after a strong 2017 season ... has gone 43-38 with two saves, 58 holds and a 4.01 ERA (323 ER/725.0 IP) in 436 major league appearances (375 in relief, 61 as a starter) covering nine major league seasons with the Twins (2009-15), Orioles (2016) and Cubs (2017)... Has limited lefties in his career to a .239 batting average (230-for-964), a .288 OBP and a .333 slugging mark, good for a .621 OPS ... has walked only 55 of 1,050 left-handed batters faced... Has pitched exclusively as a reliever the last five seasons, going 15-7 with two saves and a 3.57 ERA (95 ER/239.2 IP) in 272 outings in that span... Overall has gone 23-24 with a 4.57 ERA (176 ER/346.2 IP) in 61 starts, compared to 20-14 with two saves and a 3.50 ERA (147 ER/378.1 IP) in 375 relief appearances... Made his major league debut in 2009 with Minnesota and spent seven seasons with the team ... signed a minor league contract with Kansas City in April of 2016, but was released in mid-May ... signed with the Orioles May 23, 2016 and spent the rest of the season in the Baltimore organization... Appeared in only 14 games in 2016 due to injury ... from 2012-15, he ranked third among A.L. left-handed relievers with 245 appearances... Awarded the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award in 2014, which was voted on by the Twin Cities Chapter of the BBWAA... Originally drafted in the third round of the 2005 Draft by the Minnesota Twins... Attended the University of Nebraska where he was a Collegiate Baseball honorable mention All-American and Big 12 All-Freshman team selection ... he went 17-2 with a 3.67 ERA (75 ER/184.0 IP) in 46 games for Nebraska... Pitched for Team USA in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China ... went 1-0 with 1.17 ERA (1 ER/7.2 IP) in four games, helping the team to a Bronze Medal... Is an active supporter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma society and is also involved in Cheerful Givers, an association that supports helping children in need and providing gifts to disadvantaged kids.
Brian had a career year in his first season with the Cubs, posting a 2.74 ERA (19 ER/62.1 IP), his lowest since the 2010 season, in 68 appearances... Began the season on the disabled list with lower back spasms ... was activated April 14 after two rehab outings with Triple-A Iowa... Did not allow a run in 20-straight outings from June 22-August 7, totaling 16.1 innings ... allowed just nine hits and two walks while fanning 17 ... did not allow any runs in 11 July outings (9.2 IP)... Posted a 2.01 ERA (7 ER/31.1 IP) in his final 42 outings beginning June 22 ... was tied for the sixth-best ERA among N.L. relief pitchers with at least 20.0 IP during that span... Led all Cubs relievers with a 1.06 ERA (2 ER/17.0 IP) in May... Picked up his lone win of the season in his final outing, September 29 vs. Cincinnati ... was his first victory since September 28, 2016... Held the opponent scoreless in 53 of his 68 games... Allowed only five of 33 inherited runners to score (15.2%), the third-best percentage among N.L. relievers and the fourth-lowest rate by a Cubs reliever since the statistic was first tracked in 1974... Recorded a career-high ratio of 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings despite going 11-straight appearances (6.1 IP) without fanning a batter from August 16-September 8... Appeared in five postseason games, going 1-1 with one hold and a 1.69 ERA (1 ER/5.1 IP) ... earned the win in the clinching Game Five of the NLDS at Washington, tossing 0.2-scoreless innings.
In his only season with the Orioles, Brian went 1-0 with a 4.05 ERA (6 ER/13.1 IP) in just 14 relief appearances ... was placed on the 15-day disabled list, June 20, with bone chips in his left elbow, requiring surgery ... transferred to the 60-day disabled list, July 3, and was activated, September 5 ... Began the season in the Royals organization after signing a minor league contract February 26 ... was released March 29, then re-signed with the club April 1, before being released again, May 15 ... signed a minor league deal with the Twins, May 23 ... Went 1-0 with a 2.23 ERA (8 ER/32.1 IP) in 20 minor league outings between the GCL Orioles, Triple-A Norfolk, Double-A Bowie and Triple-A Omaha ... Made seven appearances with Baltimore (5.40 ERA) before being placed on the disabled list ... upon his return in September, he pitched to a 2.70 ERA in seven relief outings ... overall in 2016, he limited lefties to a .190 batting average with no walks allowed ... Did not allow a run in 10 of his last 11 relief appearances with Baltimore ... Appeared in the A.L. Wild Card Game at Toronto, striking out the only batter he faced.
Brian made 55 relief appearances with Minnesota, despite spending 15 days on the disabled list, April 17-May 2, with a right intercostal strain ... Allowed just one home run in first 43 appearances (33.2 IP), a two-run shot to Miguel Cabrera on May 14 at Detroit ... Between June 15-August 31, ranked second in opponents' batting average (.169) and eighth in ERA (1.71) among A.L. relievers that worked at least 25.0 innings in that span ... Posted an 11-game scoreless streak from June 13-July 25, which spanned 13.2 innings ... it was the second-longest shutout streak of his career ... Earned his second career save on April 10 at the Chicago White Sox, tossing the final 1.1 frames.
Made Twins Opening Day roster for sixth straight season but missed Twins first two games after being placed on Paternity List, attending the birth of his second child, Boston Matthew...Reinstated April 3...Posted a 0.84 ERA (10.2 IP, 1 ER) in nine April appearances...18 of first 20 appearances were scoreless April 3-May 29, including a string of 10 straight appearances May 5-29 (7.0 IP)...Posted a 2.52 ERA (35.2 IP, 10 ER) in 36 appearances Pre-All-Star break, the sixth best ERA in the AL among left-handed relievers (minimum 30.0 IP)...Did not allow a home run in 23 straight appearances (19.0 IP) June 10-August 15...Posted a 0.96 ERA (9.1 IP, 1 ER) in 11 July appearances...Appeared in 62 games, the second most of his career...49 of 62 appearances on the season were scoreless...Led all Twins relievers in ERA (3.31) and ranked fourth in appearances...Given the Carl R. Pohlad Community Service Award voted on by the Twin Cities Chapter of the BBWAA.
Made the Twins Opening Day roster for the fifth straight season... Posted a 1.76 ERA (15.1 IP, 3 ER) in first 16 appearances April 1-May 14... Earned first career save May 28 vs. Milwaukee, pitching a scoreless 14th inning... Won back-to-back games June 11 and 12 vs. Philadelphia, pitching 0.2 scoreless innings in each appearance... Did not allow a home run in first 35 appearances (26.1 IP) May 1-June 21, before allowing one to Derek Dietrich June 25 at Miami...the streak went back to August 30, 2012, a span of 47 games (48.1 IP)... Won both games of the split doubleheader August 9 at Chicago-AL, tossing 0.1 innings and 1.0 innings respectively; first MLB pitcher to win both games of a doubleheader since Yankees' Luis Vizcaino July 21, 2007...became second pitcher in franchise history to do so, the other being Washington's Walter Johnson September 23, 1923 vs. St. Louis (10.0 IP in both games)... Posted a 13.0 consecutive scoreless inning streak over 13 games August 3-September 3. Set single season career-high with 56th appearance August 16 vs. Chicago-AL... Appeared in 73 games, tied for seventh most in the American League, the most among left-handers...tied for seventh most appearance ever by a Twins left-hander.
Opened season in Twins bullpen, marking fourth straight season on club's Opening Day roster. ... Posted ERA of 1.71 (21.0 IP, 4 ER) and an opponent batting average of .178 (13-for-73) with no home runs allowed in first 19 appearances
April 6-May 20. ... Earned first win, tossing 2.0 scoreless innings June 2 at Cleveland. ... Inserted into rotation and made first start June 23 at Cincinnati...went 0-4, 10.13 (13.1 IP, 15 ER) in four starts June 23-July 15 before
returning to bullpen. ... Inserted back into rotation for seven starts July 29-August 30; earned first win as starter July 29 vs. Cleveland, allowing one run on five hits
in 6.0 innings -- first win as a starter since August 28, 2011 vs. Detroit. ... Set career high with 54th appearance September 29 vs. Detroit; finished with 55 appearances. ... Went 2-4, 3.47 (57.0 IP, 22 ER) in 44 relief appearances and 2-8, 6.92 (52.0 IP, 40 ER) in 11 starts.
Named to the Twins Opening Day roster as the club's number five starter...made his first start, April 5 at New York (AL), allowing four runs
on six hits in 7.0 innings and did not factor into the decision...Earned his first victory, April 17 at Tampa Bay, allowing two runs on seven hits in 7.0 innings...Went 2-1, 2.91 (34.0 ip, 11 er) in five starts in April and 0-4, 8.76 (24.2 ip, 24 er) in six games (five starts) in May...Lost five straight decisions, April 30-25 before snapping that streak, tossing 8.0 shutout innings in a win, June 5 at Kansas City...Tossed his second career complete game shutout, allowing six hits, walking four and striking out seven, July 4 vs. Tampa Bay...Recorded his 200th career strikeout, fanning Ramon Castro in the fifth inning, July 9 at Chicago (AL)...Set a career-high with nine strikeouts in 6.2 innings, August 13 at Cleveland...was dealt the loss in that start, allowing three runs on nine hits...Was unavailable to pitch from September 4-13 with a right oblique strain...injury occurred in the second inning of his start, September
3 at Los Angeles (AL)...Held left-handed batters to a .217 (38-for-175) batting average with seven extra-base hits...Committed four fielding errors on the season after entering 2011 having committed none...Led the Twins staff in losses but ranked second on the staff in innings pitched, starts and strikeouts.
Started the season on the Twins' Opening Day roster for the second consecutive season...began
the season in the bullpen and went 3-1, 1.67 (43.0 ip, 8 er) with nine holds in 39 appearances...Did not allow a run in 10 consecutive appearances (9.1 ip), April 17-May 12...Recorded his first career plate appearance, June 24 at Milwaukee...was struck out by Yovani
Gallardo...Inserted into the Twins starting rotation (July 23), replacing Nick Blackburn...at the time of his
move to the rotation, he ranked eighth in the American League in ERA for relievers (1.67) and
second among lefties...his .214 opponent batting average ranked fifth among lefty relievers...first batters faced in relief went 1-for-36 (.028)...Made his first start of season, July 23 at Baltimore...did not factor into the decision, allowing one run on four hits in 5.0 innings, with no
walks and three strikeouts...Recorded first win of season as a starter, allowing two runs on eight hits in 6.0 innings, July 28 at Kansas City...Pitched a three-hit, complete game shutout, the first of his career, August 14 vs. Oakland...became just the third Twins lefty to pitch a
shutout since 2002, joining Eric Milton (August, 2002) and Johan Santana (June, 2007)...Earned his seventh victory of the season, allowing one run on seven hits in 8.0 innings, August 20 vs. Los Angeles (AL)...the win improved
his record on the season to 7-1...Set a season-high with seven strikeouts, tossing 8.0 innings, allowing one run on six hits with no walks, September 8 vs. Kansas City...Recorded his 10th win, allowing three runs on six hits in 6.0 innings in a Twins 9-3 victory, September 20 vs. Cleveland...Won five consecutive decisions, July 18-August 20, and eight of nine decisions, July 18-September 20...Was 7-2, 3.05 (85.2 ip, 29 er) in 13 starts and 3-1, 1.80 (45.0 ip, 9 er) in 40 relief appearances...Was one of two pitchers in Major League Baseball to make 40-or-more relief appearances and 10-or-more starts (Hisanori Takahashi - NYM).
Started season on the Twins Opening Day roster for the first time in his career...appeared in
one game for the Twins, making his Major League debut in relief, April 10 at Chicago (AL) allowing
two earned runs on two hits in 3.0 innings with no walks...optioned to Triple-A Rochester, April 14...made 13 starts for the Red Wings...pitched 7.0 innings in three straight starts, May 18-29...tossed 8.0 innings and allowed one run on six hits, earning the win, June 26 vs. Colorado Springs...recalled by Minnesota, July 7...made first career start, July 29 vs. Chicago (AL), allowing two runs on three hits in 5.0 innings...earned his first Major League win, August 22 at Kansas City, allowing two runs on six
hits in 5.0 ip while walking one...second career victory, allowing one run on three hits in 7.0 innings, striking out eight, August 28 vs. Texas...tossed 7.0 shutout innings, September 2 vs. Chicago (AL)... earned the win with 7.0 shutout innings, September 13 vs. Oakland...went 5-0, 1.88 (43.0 ip, 9 er) in seven starts from August 22-September 23...posted an .833 (5-1) winning percentage from August 22 until the end of the season, tying him for fourth-best in the American League during that span...his 2.78 ERA (35.2 ip, 11 er) in September was the seventh-lowest in the A.L. (six starts)...went 0-1, 5.17 (31.1 ip, 18 er) in 15 relief appearances and 5-1, 2.73 (52.2 ip, 16 er) in nine starts...started Game 1 of the ALDS, October 7 at New York (AL), allowing five runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings, becoming the third rookie in club history to start a postseason game.
Pitched all season at Triple-A Rochester...lost his first two starts of the year despite posting a 2.31 ERA (11.2 ip, 3 er)...earned his first win April 14 vs. Syracuse allowing three runs in 5.2 innings...posted a 2.75 ERA (36.0 ip, 11 er) over his first six starts...went 1-0 with a 0.90 ERA (20.0 ip, 2 er) in three starts from May 30-June 9...did not allow a run in back-to-back starts June 4 and 9 (15.0 innings)...earned his fifth win of the season with 6.0 scoreless innings, July 4 vs. Buffalo...pitched for the 2008 USA Olympic Team, July 28-August 27...posted a 1-0 record with a 1.17 ERA (7.2 ip, 1 er) and a .125 batting average against in four Olympic appearances...earned the win August 16 vs. Team Canada as he tossed 3.1 scoreless innings of relief in a 5-4 win for Team USA...he struck out three and did not walk a batter...he entered the game trailing 4-3 in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs...he struck out Adam Stern to end the inning...returned to the Red Wings and made his only relief appearance of the season, August 29 (2.0 scoreless innings)....made his final start, September 1 vs. Buffalo tossing 5.1 innings allowing three runs...went 3-2 with a 3.39 ERA over 12 home appearances (11 starts).
Began season at Double-A New Britain...allowed three runs-or-less in first six starts, going 3-0, 2.14 (33.2 ip, 8 er), April 9-May 9... season-high 8.0 innings, May 4 vs. Trenton...promoted to Rochester, May 30...was 4-1, 2.19 (37.0 ip, 9 er) in five starts, May 30-June 27...season-high six-game win-streak, going 6-0, 2.44 (44.1 ip, 12 er) in seven starts, July 7-August 8...named Twins' Minor League Player of the Week, August 3-9...tied season-high nine strikeouts, August 27 vs. Pawtucket...tied for second in all of the minors with three complete games...was tied for ninth in all of minor league baseball with 15 wins...was third in International League in earned run average and tied for third in wins...ranked the 18th-best prospect in the Eastern League by Baseball America...rated eighth-best prospect in the Twins' organization by Baseball America entering the 2008 season.
Began season at Single-A Beloit...was 2-0, 1.70 (42.1 ip, 8 er) in six starts, April 18-May 16....tossed 6.0-plus innings in eight consecutive
starts, April 18-May 28...pitched season-high 9.0 innings in complete game shutout, May 10 at West Michigan...promoted to Single-A Ft. Myers, June 6...tossed 6.0-plus innings in six consecutive starts, June 9-July 6...promoted to Double-A New Britain, July 14...tied season-high eight strikeouts, July 23 at Erie...was eighth in Twins' organization in earned run average (3.49).
Spent first professional season at Rookie Level Elizabethton...was 1-0, 1.13 (8.0 ip, 1 er) in three appearances (one start), July 5-15...did not allow a run in two of three appearances (two starts), going 2-0, 2.19 (12.1 ip, 3 er), August 6-11...tossed season-high 7.0 innings, August 11 at Danville...tied season-high nine strikeouts, August 24 at Bristol.