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Strib: Twins Fan Banned From Target Field For Aggressive...

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http://www.startribu...back/500642671/     According to the above article in the Star Tribune, the Twins banned Jason Gabbert f...
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Article: HAYES: Twins to Hire Wes Johnson as Pitching Coach

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Article: Rundown: Mauer Being a Pain, Prospect Lists, Phi...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:28 PM
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The Gib is Up, Kyle Is For Real

There’s no need to remind you of what Kyle Gibson was, we’re all aware. Early on in the 2017 season, the former first round pick looked like a good bet to be non-tendered this past winter; General Manager Thad Levine admitted as much. The turnaround made by the former Missouri Tiger has been noted plenty, but are we really aware of just how drastic it’s been?
Image courtesy of © Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
In watching Gibson compete against the Boston Red Sox today, I found myself wondering if even I’ve given him his due. As someone who writes about the team, and is in tune with statistical happenings, I found myself in awe of his transformation.

For the Red Sox, Rick Porcello is hardly cut from the same cloth that Chris Sale is considered a part of. That being said, he’s an American League Cy Young winner pitching for one of the best lineups in all of baseball. Today, Kyle Gibson went out and had no problem going toe to toe with him.

Then it happened, there was a defining moment during the contest that Gibson cemented himself as being the pitcher of new, and not the one of old. Allowing a solo home run to Mookie Betts leading off the fifth inning, Gibson would eventually find himself in a bases loaded, one out jam. With Rafael Devers up the Twins starter induced a pop up, and then a Brock Holt groundout to end the inning without further damage. He was at 99 pitches on the day.

Expecting him to be done, Gibson came back out for the sixth inning. He had unfinished business. Porcello threw at Eduardo Escobar earlier in the game, going up at his head and hitting him in a flailing elbow. Even before the Twins utility man left the ballgame, you have to imagine that didn’t sit well with the hometown nine. In heading back out for the sixth, Gibson took the liberty of plunking Boston catcher Sandy Leon in retaliation. With a runner on first before recording an out, he got a ground ball double play and then retired Betts to end his day.

Over the course of those two instances, Gibson displayed exactly what the numbers say. This man is not the same pitcher Minnesota fans saw being on the way out the door. He has begun to look every bit the pitcher who was selected in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft. For a Derek Falvey and Thad Levine front office that is going to hang its hat on pitching, that emergence is absolutely what the organization needs.

By the numbers, Gibson has only improved upon where he was a season ago. His 93.4 mph average fastball velocity is a career best, and sees inflation each time he rears back for 95 or 96 mph heat. He’s getting swinging strikes 11.2% of the time, while also allowing contact just 74.4% of the time; both of those numbers are career bests. He’s cut down on balls leaving the yard, and with an 8.8 K/9, he’s become a legitimate strikeout pitcher.

A season ago, the Twins used a record number of different starting pitchers. This season, they’ve seen some of the future emerge in the form of Fernando Romero and Zack Littell. With Jose Berrios looking like an ace, the rotation in years to come should have more spots claimed than question marks. Knowing guys may be left out in the cold, Kyle Gibson has taken it upon himself to make sure he’s not a member of that group.

For someone who had so much promise, went through so much adversity, and has overcome professional struggles, this is a redemption story of the greatest kind. Although he’s probably never going to get the All-Star level fanfare, or be noted among the greats across the league, Gibson has proved to be a legitimate weapon for the Twins. He’s a guy that the manager can trust to call his own number, will put up the best effort for his teammates, and is now competing at a level that seemed all but lost not too long ago.

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20 Comments

Gibson should have hit Betts instead. Hitting Leon can only be considered a warning not retaliation.

    • Steve Lein likes this

Gibson is indeed for real.

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LeatherAntenna
Jun 21 2018 07:14 PM
Agreed he should have hit Betts except he didn’t know he would face Betts with no runners on when the inning started. Now if you are saying he should have plunked Betts after Leon, that would have been interesting and also may have started a bench clearing brawl. Maybe that should have happened.
    • TNTwinsFan likes this
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Brock Beauchamp
Jun 21 2018 07:18 PM

I'm so glad to see Gibson emerge as a legit starting pitcher. For years, I lobbied that he still had untapped potential, as his overall career IP (combined MiLB/MLB) was extremely low for a pitcher his age (drafted out of college, TJS, multiple small injuries).

 

But even I had soured on him by the start of 2017. It's good to see someone take him under their wing and get with 21st century baseball, eliminating the mantra "low in the zone" and just letting the guy hurl the ball at the plate with his best pitches.

    • USAFChief, Blake, bdodge22 and 9 others like this
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TheLeviathan
Jun 21 2018 07:36 PM

Just in time to trade him!

    • rghrbek and Tomj14 like this

Well, I definitely did not see this happening to Gibson this season. I thought he was toast last season, but he's a whole different pitcher now. I wonder if Garvin Alston is responsible for some of these changes to his approach? I'm liking him so far as the pitching coach.

 

 

Just in time to trade him!

Well, they definitely could. I do think I see one of our starters being traded by the time the 2019 season starts, but they'd have to get something good for Gibby. We still have another year of control of him so I think I'd prefer to hang on to him, but if someone offers a strong package I'd pull the trigger.

    • Minny505 likes this

About Mid-Season last year... I gave up on him. 

 

I'm kinda ashamed about that now.:)

    • Blake, diehardtwinsfan, Oldgoat_MN and 1 other like this

 

Gibson should have hit Betts instead. Hitting Leon can only be considered a warning not retaliation.

 

There's a concept that hitting the catcher is decent since he's presumably involved in hitting a guy.

 

That Porcello pitch was super scary. I'm a DH fan but sometimes I wish it was the NL and pitchers had to bat. Porcello deserved to get plunked over everyone else.

    • Jerr, Oldgoat_MN, Minny505 and 1 other like this

At this point, is Gibson an extension candidate?He's 30 years old with 2 years control.Do you try to buy out those last 2 years and add maybe a year or 2 to keep him or do you let the chips fall where they may and see where things sit in 2 years with him and the other prospects we have in the minors?

 

At this point, is Gibson an extension candidate?He's 30 years old with 2 years control.Do you try to buy out those last 2 years and add maybe a year or 2 to keep him or do you let the chips fall where they may and see where things sit in 2 years with him and the other prospects we have in the minors?

If Gibson continues to pitch well through the end of the year I would like to see them offer an extension. I do not have the confidence some have in Gonsalves or Littell. Mejia is the one I expect to be strong in MLB, as he has an ERA <3, a WHIP <1.25 and is getting 9.6 K/9 in Rochester this year. He has also had some success in MLB in the past.

Other than him I think our arms in the higher MiLB are questionable.

    • DocBauer and Minny505 like this

 

About Mid-Season last year... I gave up on him. 

 

I'm kinda ashamed about that now.:)

Hey RB!

Good deal, and about time.

At this point, is Gibson an extension candidate? He's 30 years old with 2 years control. Do you try to buy out those last 2 years and add maybe a year or 2 to keep him or do you let the chips fall where they may and see where things sit in 2 years with him and the other prospects we have in the minors?


Gibson only has 1 more year of team control remaining.
    • Danchat likes this

When I was watching the playoffs last year I saw the Astros roll out Charlie Morton.Morton used to be a sinker type pitcher who tried to keep the ball low in the zone and get ground ball.Then when he went to Houston someone basically told him his stuff was too good to be a sinker ball pitcher and to throw the ball harder and try to strike guys out.He went from an OK starter to very good.  

 

The moment I heard the announcers mention that I thought of Gibson.It seems like he has taken to that mantra of throwing the ball harder and striking guys out this year.And it's working.

    • USAFChief and Minny505 like this
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FunnyPenguin
Jun 22 2018 12:44 PM

It used to be that he had flashes of looking decent, but then he'd just fall apart.He is a much better pitcher now with a good mindset, like when his last start he had bases loaded and 1 out, and still worked out of it. In previous years, he would have unraveled right there and then.

 

fun guy to watch now

    • Loosey and DocBauer like this

I like home grown players. I always have, and will support Gibson. Jump on the bandwagon, doubters. No need to be too proud to admit you were wrong. So great to see him come of age, and keep it up. Now if the team would just score some runs when he pitches, instead of wasting all these great starts.......

Seemed like Gibby used to fail some time in the 5th inning. He's no longer doing that. He learned to pace himself. Good for him.

I've always been a supporter and believer, but I too was running out of patience the first half of 2017. I always thought he got a bit of a bum rap. So what if his debut wasnt good. Neither was Berios's or many other young pitchers. Go look at his 2014 and 2015 seasons, his first 2 full seasons. (And his 2014 season he missed behind a rookie by about 1 IP). 2014 was solid, 2015 was better. The wheels came off in 2016, but they did for the entire team.

Poor performances, a trip to Rochester, something clicked mid season last year. Sort of reminds me of Viola back in the day when he was finally convinced he was a power pitcher and attack vs nibble.

This is no longer a SSS. This is the pitcher we always wanted him to be. And he has a chance to be this guy for a good 2-4 years.
    • h2oface likes this

 

If Gibson continues to pitch well through the end of the year I would like to see them offer an extension. I do not have the confidence some have in Gonsalves or Littell. Mejia is the one I expect to be strong in MLB, as he has an ERA <3, a WHIP <1.25 and is getting 9.6 K/9 in Rochester this year. He has also had some success in MLB in the past.

Other than him I think our arms in the higher MiLB are questionable.

I'm not sure if looking at just 2018's stats for this trio is a good day to measure them as prospects. Mejia still profiles as a #5 pitcher. Littell's one bad MLB start isn't going to affect his future. Gonsalves does have some control issues but I still think he's going to be OK, it just seems like he'll need more time in the minors than anticipated.

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diehardtwinsfan
Jun 22 2018 09:26 PM

I lost patience with him last year. Glad I was wrong.