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Caleb Thielbar is Back in the Big Leagues

The Twins announced on Monday afternoon that left-hander Caleb Thielbar has had his contract selected and he's back in the big leagues for the first time since the Twins released him during the 2015 season.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement, USA Today
It 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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18 Comments

The Twins sure seem to collect feel-good pitchers. Smeltzer, Dobnak, Thielbar. What's next? Bert coming back to pitch a 150-pitch complete game in his 70s?

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 03 2020 04:39 PM
Always liked him—welcome back!

Great job on the Thielbar "story". I am sure many of us remember the MLB beginning of it in 2013 well. The candle burned bright and fast. It is not easy to make an enticing story out of a filler talent. Maybe one day we can read a story like the Shane Bieber story as a Twin. Now that would be a great story. In the mean time, I will be biting my nails when Thielbar is called, and probably cussing, for as little a time as it is bound to last. 

I feel bad for Wade - would rather it was Whitehead

 

He was an asset, half a decade ago. Hard to project what he may bring to the table by now, but I'll go with the heavily-scripted usage that Rocco no doubt intends for him, and hope it's good.

    • DocBauer likes this

Did they have an open spot on the 40-man, Seth? Or was someone taken off the 40?

 

Did they have an open spot on the 40-man, Seth? Or was someone taken off the 40?

08/03/20 Minnesota Twins optioned LF LaMonte Wade Jr to Twins Alternate Training Site.
08/03/20 Minnesota Twins selected the contract of LHP Caleb Thielbar from Twins Alternate Training Site.
08/02/20 Minnesota Twins placed RHP Homer Bailey on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 29, 2020. Right biceps tendinitis.
08/02/20 Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Sean Poppen from Twins Alternate Training Site.
08/01/20 Minnesota Twins placed RHP Zack Littell on the 10-day injured list retroactive to July 31, 2020. Left hamstring strain.
08/01/20 Minnesota Twins recalled RHP Jorge Alcala from Twins Alternate Training Site.

Bailey to the DL opened a spot I think is how it worked

Maybe they should have kept Chacin?? 😀

 

Bailey to the DL opened a spot I think is how it worked

no, Bailey's only on the 10-Day IL.

 

Pretty sure the Twins had an opening or two on the 40-man.

 

Maybe they should have kept Chacin??

 

Gotta think Chacin is kicking himself right about now.

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stringer bell
Aug 04 2020 05:49 AM

Counting Thielbar, there are exactly forty on the 40-man roster, so there must have been an opening. 

Gotta think Chacin is kicking himself right about now.

He's on a first place team. And one of his two performances with his team was pretty bad, which would have been no more welcome in Minnesota. So I think he landed on his feet and has more to worry about than what-ifs.
 

    • Danchat likes this

He's on a first place team. And one of his two performances with his team was pretty bad, which would have been no more welcome in Minnesota. So I think he landed on his feet and has more to worry about than what-ifs.


Well yeah, and the Braves starters are falling like flies so looks like he landed in a good place for him.
    • ashbury likes this

 

Well yeah, and the Braves starters are falling like flies so looks like he landed in a good place for him.

Actually.... https://www.mlbtrade...s-contract.html

    • ashbury likes this
Mystery meat.
Good luck.
I feel like we are limping along.

Like him too and he is a very nice and friendly person as well. Glad to see him back wit the Twins.

That does change the conversation about him, if he's out from Atlanta. Still, I think he would be kicking himself for the bad game that apparently was his one-strike-and-you're-out, not the decision to move on from a deep team that wasn't showing signs of breaking camp with him.