Photo Courtesy of: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Moving Gibson to the bullpen would save some of the innings the team plans on limiting since this is his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. That could mean pitching longer into the season, but Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire have given no indication they have plans for putting Gibson anywhere but the starting rotation.
The Twins could opt to go with a six-man rotation—which I have discussed in a previous Twins’ article accessed by clicking here—to limit the wear on Gibson’s arm and keep their current starters in the rotation at least to the trade deadline. Then they then could trade a starter and open a spot that way. However, Kevin Correia is currently the only one in the rotation with any real trade value and trading him isn’t likely until the deadline gets closer and the price for him hopefully goes up.
~~~ Article originally published on RantSports.com ~~~
With Correia the most likely trade candidate—which could happen before the deadline once Mike Pelfrey returns from injury— Pelfrey, P.J. Walters and Scott Diamond are the three most likely candidates for demotion to Triple-A due to Gibson’s promotion. Samuel Deduno seems safe for now and I’m inclined to believe that Diamond also will be kept around, which essentially cuts the choice for the Twins down to Walters or Pelfrey.
With Pelfrey—who has been pitching better of late, but still hasn’t pitched great—on the disabled list for the next week or more, the Twins can use the time as an audition period to see who ought to be sent down or traded to make room for Gibson, long-term. This could mean either demoting a player or waiting for the right trade possibility to present itself.
Don’t forget also, the Twins have Trevor May rising through the minors and he could be challenging for a spot in the rotation by season’s end; the rotation might be undergoing even more changes after the Gibson situation is settled. It also wouldn't be out of the realm of the possible to see the Twins promote Vance Worley if he continues to pitch well in Triple-A.
While the Twins may fall out of contention at some point this season, watching youngsters like Gibson pitch and develop is something to look forward to. Watching how the game of musical pitchers works itself out might also be quite entertaining during the dog days of summer. If I were a betting man, I’d say the rotation will be Gibson, Diamond, Deduno, Worley and Walters by the July 31 trading deadline, with May replacing Walters by September.
While the Twins may not be actively pursuing a division title come August and September, they will certainly have plenty of pitching intrigue,making them an interesting team to follow as the season trudges on.
Brian Wille is a Minnesota Twins writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @BeeWill15 or “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google
To view more articles by Brian Wille, click here