The Minnesota Twins just announced that they have optioned Kyle Gibson and Caleb Thielbar and also reassigned Anthony Slama, James Beresford and Kyle Knudson to minor league camp.
Gibson has really struggled in big league games this spring after a flashy start. Of course, this is no surprise in his return from Tommy John surgery although many thought that he would have a chance at making the Twins starting rotation. More important than where he starts the season, Gibson's arm is feeling good. His velocity is back. He is throwing a very sharp slider. His control is not as impeccable as it typically has been, but that isn't completely unexpected. Gibson is going to have his innings monitored, but that is not the reason for starting the season in Rochester. He needs to get work. He needs to be more consistent. There is little question that he will be fine. He will be up with the Twins in the not-so-distant future.
Thielbar was one of the surprise adds to the 40 man roster. Plucked from the St. Paul Saints late in the 2011 season, Thielbar pitched in Ft. Myers, New Britain, Rochester and the Arizona Fall League in 2012. He struggled this spring, but he does have a strong arm, and if needed, he could come up in 2013.
Anthony Slama struggled this spring as well. In each of his outings, he threw a lot of pitches, struggled with control and command and was hittable. He'll go back to Rochester, probably be the closer, hopefully put up Slama-like numbers and get one more shot with the Twins during the season. He does become a minor league free agent following the season.
James Beresford impressed with his glove, as always, this spring with the Twins. His first big league camp was interrupted by his appearance with Australia in the WBC. He has played three infield positions very well. Last night, he launched a solo home run for the Twins. He had just one home run in his professional career coming into the game, a home run in 2010 in Beloit. But, he has been able to add weight this offseason, a goal of his, and he has made some adjustments, so 2013 should be an interesting year for him.
Kyle Knudson went to high school in Minnesota and played for the Minnesota Gophers in college. He was invited to spring training to help catch bullpens, but also to gain exposure with the big league coaching staff. He handled himself well behind the plate, and finally healthy, he should put up decent offensive numbers in 2013. He'll likely start the season in Ft. Myers.
According to the press release, the Twins now have 51 players in camp (24 pitchers, six catchers, 11 infielders, and 10 outfielders.