Caleb Thielbar is Back in the Big Leagues
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA TodayIt was quite a story the first time that Caleb Thielbar was called up to the big leagues. The Randolph, Minnesota, native had been the Brewers 18th round draft pick in 2009 out of South Dakota State in Brookings.
He spent just two seasons in the Brewers organization before joining the St. Paul Saints. He pitched well enough in 2011 that the Twins signed him late in the season and had him play three games in Ft. Myers.
In 2012, he pitched in Ft. Myers, New Britain and Rochester, combining to go 6-2 with a 2.43 ERA in 48 games and 77 2/3 innings. He even pitched in the Arizona Fall League after the season.
He began 2013 with the Rochester Red Wings but after 17 games, he was called up to the Twins in mid-May. He began his big-league career by going 19 2/3 innings without giving up a run. He posted a 1.76 ERA in 49 games and 46 innings and was named the Bill Boni Twins Rookie of the Year.
He pitched to a 3.40 ERA in 2014 over 54 games with the Twins. He started slow in 2015 and was sent down to AAA early. Late in the year, he was DFAd. He spent the end of that season in the Padres organization.
He returned to the Saints for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, pitching well both years.
In 2018, he was very good in the Detroit Tigers organization, playing for Doug Mientkiewicz in Toledo, but he never got the call.
In 2019, he pitched in Toledo again and late in the year with Gwinnett, the Braves AAA affiliate. Despite reports that he was throwing 95 mph, he did not get a call.
This past offseason, there were reports that he had accepted a coaching job at Augustana University in South Dakota. The next thing we heard, he was signing a minor league deal with the Twins.
He pitched well in spring training. When Summer Camp rosters were announced, he was on the Twins 60-player pool. During the Twins first road trip of the season, Thielbar was one of three members of their Taxi Squad.
And on Monday, with the team needing arms, LaMonte Wade was optioned and Caleb Thielbar was called up from the St. Paul group.
What a story!
Before the game, Baldelli spoke of Thielbar's story, but also of a potential role for him.
"I've just heard pieces of that story. He brings a really interesting skill set. He's got this delivery that creates some deception. He's got the fastball that has tremendous ride on it, and then he's got this really up and down, change-of-pace breaking ball that he can manipulate too. What he does is gives you a really nice, different look. That's what makes a lot of these guys good. And Caleb certainly brings something, and his talents to the table, that are different than the rest off the group. I'm looking forward to him going out there and doing his thing. We've been watching him for awhile from the first time around in Ft. Myers. He seems like a really good guy and teammate, but also a guy that can contribute and we knew that from the start."
Join us in congratulating Thielbar on his return to the big leagues.
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