• Twins Minor League Report (5/8): Gibson Shows He's Ready

    While Pedro Hernandez was getting beaten-up by the Boston Red Sox line-up, Kyle Gibson was showing he is ready to take his spot in the major league starting rotation. It might have been Gibson's best start as a professional and it wouldn't be surprising if he makes his MLB debut within the next week.

    The rest of the Twins and Red Sox game looked like a slow pitch softball game. Minnesota scored seven runs in the second inning and Pedro Florimon did his best Babe Ruth impression with a home run and a two-run double.
    swaldo Arcia has his batting average at .300 after he had four hits in the Twins 15-8 win over Boston.

    There were plenty of story lines to follow in the minor leagues on Wednesday so let's go around the horn with the Twins farm system.

    Rochester Red Wings 3, Toledo Mudhens 0
    Box Score
    It took 114 pitches but Kyle Gibson pitched a complete game shutout. He only allowed four hits and had eight strikeouts and two walks. It was a masterful performance as only five balls left the infield. He threw 70 strikes and 44 balls and faced only four batters over the minimum. It was his second complete game shutout and his first since 2010, when he was with the Fort Myers Miracle.

    Prior to this game, Gibson had made it into the seventh inning in one outing and his season high in strikeouts was seven. Both of those marks were passed on Wednesday and the 25-year seems on the cusp of making his big league debut. The Twins might need someone to take over the starting role of Pedro Hernandez; Gibson could be the guy.

    There wasn't a ton of offense on Rochester's side of the ball but it was enough to get the job done behind Gibson's gem. Evan Bigley got the scoring started with a two-run home run in the first inning. Chris Herrmann and Eric Farris each notched his first triple of the season.

    Doug Bernier was the only Red Wings batter with more than one hit. Chris Colabello went 0-4 in the game and he saw his nine game hit streak come to an end.

    It was the first time the club has won two games in a row since a four-game streak at the end of April. The Red Wings have not lost a series in their last five.

    Rochester continues their longest road trip yet this season with two more games in Toledo. Rochester has dominated Toledo in recent play, winning 11 of the last 12 match-ups. The team will return to Rochester for a week-long home stand that starts Friday night.

    New Britain Rock Cats 5, New Hampshire Fisher Cats 4
    Box Score
    A four-run first inning put the Rock Cats in control of this game from the start. The offense cooled down from there and Pat Dean looked in control of things on the mound. His 6.1 innings while allowing four runs was enough to earn Dean his first win at the Double-A level.

    Things got a little dicey in the bottom of the seventh when a double and a single from the Fisher Cats plated a run. This signaled the end of the day for Dean and the bullpen took over from there. Bobby Lanigan allowed one of the inherited runners to score but other than that the bullpen did its job. Michael Tonkin earned his fifth save of the year as he closed out the ninth.

    On the offensive side, Daniel Ortiz stole the show. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs scored. He hit his team leading ninth double of the year and smacked his fifth home run.

    Danny Santana and Curt Smith both went 2-for-4. Smith added his fourth double of the year and Santana had his 13th RBI on the season. Mark Sobolewski had a rough day at third base with two fielding errors.

    With the win, the Rock Cats have a season high four-game winning streak and improved to 18-15. New Britain is in second place, one game behind the Portland Sea Dogs in the win column in the Eastern Division of the Eastern League. The club will face that very Portland team for five games in the next four days.

    Fort Myers Miracle 1, Tampa Yankees 8
    Box Score
    Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario were held out of the Miracle line-up for the second day in a row. On Tuesday night, Fort Myers found enough offense to win without these two players but at the end of Wednesday's game there weren't enough runs on the board to avoid a loss

    Matthew Summers got hit around for nine hits and six earned runs in five innings. He has pitched more than five innings in only one of his last four starts and he hasn't gotten a win since April 12th. His ERA sits at 4.29, so the Florida State League has been a little rough on him this year.

    Only four batters managed hits for the Miracle. The lone run was scored on a solo shot off the bat of Kennys Vargas. It was his fifth home run of the year but it wasn't nearly enough. Stephen Wickens continued his hot bat with two hits. Over the last 10 games, he has a hit in nine of them and a batting line of .351/.442/.459.

    Cedar Rapids Kernels 1, Quad Cities River Bandits 4
    Box Score
    Much like the Miracle's game, it was a tough offensive night for the Kernels. The team had a couple extra base hits but the club left nine men on base and went 0-8 with runners in scoring position. It is the fewest runs the team has scored since May 1.

    Dalton Hicks provided all the offensive pop with a solo shot in the sixth inning. It was his fifth home run of the season. Candido Pimentel had his first triple of the year but he was stranded at third base. Tyler Grimes was the only Kernel to collect more than one hit with his 2-for-4 day at the plate. Byron Buxton reached base twice with a single and a walk but was caught stealing for the fifth time.

    The defense struggled to make throws on Wednesday night. Cedar Rapids compiled three throwing errors that led to two unearned runs for the River Bandits. Pimentel had his second error of the season. Brett Lee was the starting pitcher and his part in a botched double play turned into his first error of the year. Travis Harrison continues to struggle at third base with his team leading ninth error.

    Lee put up a decent effort on the mound but was still given the loss in this contest. He even outlasted the starter for the River Bandits by over an inning. His final line was 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 SO and 2 BB. Since joining the Kernels rotation he has pitched six innings in three of his four starts.

    Cedar Rapids continues their series with Quad Cities over the next two nights. The team holds a slim two game advantage over the second-place River Bandits so these next two games will be very important. Their 12-game road trip concludes with a three-game series in Beloit this weekend.
    Comments 30 Comments
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Awesome job Gibson! Though I kind of doubt he would have pitched the 9th if not for the 16 inning game last night when the Red Wings used 9 pitchers.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Gibson pitched great, but he did it against the Mud Hens. It takes a little value away that he was practically pitching against a AA team.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Would it be wise to give him an extra day or two following the long outing?
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Great article, and very good news about Gibson.
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      I still think the twins are a 85/90 loss team BUT if the organization thinks they can contend (or stay around their current .500 level), Gibson should be recalled immediately for Pedro.
      Cmon, what does Hernandez have goin for him in the future as a starter?? Kyle can use up his innings by mid AUG, when Trevor May/Alex Meyer can be recalled to fill in.
    1. joeboo_22's Avatar
      joeboo_22 -
      Gibson needs to be in them minors he only has around 100IP left and should use that against the top talent so he can be evaluated to see where he is in the plans for 2014. Plus he is good enough to be a MLB starter.

      If the Twins do decide to make the Gibson for Hernadez switch do the Twins option Hernadez tomorrow and call up someone for the 4 games before Gibson would start? A Thielbar, Robertson, Wood for bullpen help.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      Call Gibson up already for Chrissake! He wouldn't be the 1st project they've thrown out there this year, let's see what he's got.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Gibson is throwing innings for no reason right now. Some people scoffed at my notion that his innings (pitches) limit should be kept in AAA as long as possible. Fair enough. Now he is probably at 110 innings or so for the remainder of the season. The Twins are NOT an abomination and it is conceivable that September matters. And so Gibson should be ready for that . . . . . or not.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      At this pace, he is done in August. Great managing . . .
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Gibson, if called up now, lasts into August and that's it.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      Gibson should be given the chance. Wait a few days, call up a relief pitcher on the 40 man roster if necessary, but for the next start try Gibson.
    1. PseudoSABR's Avatar
      PseudoSABR -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      At this pace, he is done in August. Great managing . . .
      Right, he should have been thrown out to ML hitters when he hadn't proven his dominance at lower levels.

      Maybe we waste some innings on Gibson's arm, but he's being put in a situation where he's more likely to succeed.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      Its been nearly a month since the Twins last made a transaction. Given their (in)ability to keep people healthy lately, that's an encouraging sign for both the Twins and Wings.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      114 pitches? Gene Glynn might get in trouble for that...
    1. birdwatcher's Avatar
      birdwatcher -
      This was the first dominant outing for Gibson, which indicates he's been managed pretty well.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      114 pitches? Gene Glynn might get in trouble for that...
      I'm sure they had to make a phone call to see if they could have him pitch the 9th.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Gibson, if called up now, lasts into August and that's it.
      He wasn't ready in April. That's the bigger thing. His long term development is most important.
    1. Lazarus's Avatar
      Lazarus -
      One really good outing is not a trend. His last outing was less than stellar against a better hitting squad. I believe he will show flashes of dominance this year but be inconsistent due to his continued recovery TJ surgery. If he strings a few together and can dominate better teams the MudHens, that would be the sign that he's turned the corner and is ready for a promotion. Not sure Kyle or the organization is well served by rushing him before he's really ready.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      Some have already pointed out this caveat, but good article from Baseball America on Gibson's start yesterday: Thursday Prospect Notebook: Kyle Gibson Dominates, But It Comes With A Caveat - BaseballAmerica.com

      The name Kyle Waldrop is also dropped as having shut-out Toledo... Appears Pittsburgh has him starting, and has been pretty good in 2 games.
    1. Steve Lein's Avatar
      Steve Lein -
      This snippet also from their Hot Sheet report last week (before this start):

      "Kyle Gibson, rhp, Twins. If the Twins need starting-pitcher help at some point this summer, Gibson should be ready and waiting. He’s only had one awful start in his first five appearances at Triple-A Rochester this spring and he’s had three really good outings, like the one he threw this week (zero runs in 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks). The 25-year-old has shown no lingering effects from his Tommy John surgery and by all accounts looks just about big league ready."
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