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  • Gibson Causing Giddiness

    Given the vast number of tribulations that have surrounded seemingly every injury affecting a player on the Twins' roster over the past couple years, folks have understandably placed low expectations on Kyle Gibson's rehab process.

    The young hurler is a member of the organization's sizable faction of Tommy John victims over the past several years, and with all the setbacks that we've grown accustomed to seeing, fans across Twins Territory have conditioned themselves to scale back excitement over his potential impact next season.

    Gibson is making it increasingly difficult to do so.

    The former first-round draft pick, ranked by Baseball America as the game's 34th-best prospect before a 2011 season that saw him tear his UCL, turned in another sterling performance in the Arizona Fall League on Tuesday, allowing just one run on six hits over five innings while striking out eight and walking none. In two starts for the Peoria Javelinas, the right-hander is now 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA and 16-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 10 innings. Those are fantastic numbers in a traditionally hitter-friendly league.

    Combining his AFL performance with his three-level minor-league rehab stint that stretched from July to September this season, Gibson has tallied 49 strikeouts and six walks in 38 1/3 innings since returning to pitching competitively about nine months after surgery.

    Perhaps even more encouraging than the numbers are the reports on Gibson's fastball velocity, which was purportedly registering up to 93 MPH in his latest start. If true, that's a notch above what he was typically reaching before surgery, and a sign that his gaudy strikeout totals may not be a total mirage.

    Now, to be clear, we're talking about a small sample against minor-league hitters, many of whom aren't even Triple-A caliber. Still, it's tough not to get excited about this major ray of positivity in what's largely been a dark and gloomy starting pitching saga.

    Even if we're telling ourselves not to.
    This article was originally published in blog: Gibson Causing Giddiness started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 40 Comments
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Perhaps even more encouraging than the numbers are the reports on Gibson's fastball velocity, which was purportedly registering up to 93 MPH in his latest start.
      Indeed that is what matters: throwing hard with no pain.
      And Joe C's numbers are pretty conservative. Mackey indicates that PitchF/X had him at 93-95. He will get a chance this ST; up to him to grab it by the horns...
    1. greengoblinrulz's Avatar
      greengoblinrulz -
      Stunned by TR's statement of Gibson getting only 130 innings next yr after getting 70ish innings already THIS season. Where does that come from.
      Handling of Hicks/Arcia/Gibson just shows me that the club isnt interested in truly competing next yr....just field a team & hope for the best.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Stunned by TR's statement of Gibson getting only 130 innings next yr after getting 70ish innings already THIS season. Where does that come from.
      Handling of Hicks/Arcia/Gibson just shows me that the club isnt interested in truly competing next yr....just field a team & hope for the best.
      While I agree that the Ryan's plan is to wait out this bad patch, I am not sure how they are mishandleing Hicks & Arcia. I think both are going to go to Spring training and if they play well, it would be shocking f they both don't see time on the 25 man roster next year.
      Further I am not unhappy at all to hear that Gibson would get reduced innings. His long term health is more important. But in the unlikely event they team plays well out of the gate next year and is contention, hopefully they take steps to have him avaiable for the playoffs. (By limiting his innings in Late July & August)
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      Proceeding cautiously with Hicks (22 year old coming off his first quality all-around season, in AA), Arcia (half-season of AA time) and Gibson (after missing all of 2012 with TOMMY JOHN surgery... yeah, that's crazy!
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Maybe he can start the season in the bullpen in Rochester? Or as a starter going 2-3 innings (and have an Andrew Albers or someone take over in long relief for each start?). That way he stays as 30 or so innings through May (imagine what Washington could have done in the playoffs if they had managed Strassburg appropriately). A strict 5 inning limit through August would push it to 100 at the most. Then turn him loose in September. Now, of course, we all know that the Twins will be playing deep into October so . . . . there's not that.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      I'm sure unless Gibson is lights out in spring training, he will start in Rochester. It could be that the options take themselves out of contention and he has to start in Minnesota. I hope he is here as it seems like the Twins need him. I did some checking at mlbtradermors and there are a lot of clubs looking for starting pitching.. That would seem to mean that unless TR is willing to overpay, we will have about the same staff as the end of last year. That will not work.
    1. NoCryingInBaseball's Avatar
      NoCryingInBaseball -
      Limiting innings the following year after TJ seems appropriate and in the long-term best interest of Gibson (and the team if his stuff is as good as the reports). Rather than sit him down in September, like Washington did to Strassburg, why not have him sit out a month in the spring. After all, he is pitching Fall League.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by NoCryingInBaseball View Post
      Limiting innings the following year after TJ seems appropriate and in the long-term best interest of Gibson (and the team if his stuff is as good as the reports). Rather than sit him down in September, like Washington did to Strassburg, why not have him sit out a month in the spring. After all, he is pitching Fall League.
      I don't see the need to have him sit out but a short stretch in the bullpen might be in order to keep him pitching through September.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      There is no evidence that limiting innings matters. The data is on the interwebs. No reason that he should pitch in Rochester, but not Minnesota, if he is one of the five beat starters. He is 25, there are only so many years in an arm. But we all know he will start in Rochester.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Stunned by TR's statement of Gibson getting only 130 innings next yr after getting 70ish innings already THIS season. Where does that come from.
      Handling of Hicks/Arcia/Gibson just shows me that the club isnt interested in truly competing next yr....just field a team & hope for the best.
      Some people will look at anything half full. Are still complaining about 2 AA hitters not getting called up to get 5 AB's in September? I mean how bad is your life that you have to come on this website, day after day, and post your negative viewpoint. "Pitch to contact is the worst, Tom Kelly's is a good high school coach, we take to long to call up our prospects, nag nag nag." This organization has hit a rough patch but it did spend the last decade being one of the top teams in the AL. So I think we should all just calm down and let TR do his thing and get us back to respectability. This team is not that far off.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      That pitch limit is a little low. It is actually about 100% from what he pitched this year, so the Twins must have seen something that has lead them to believe that is a good number. When you think about it, that is quite a workload on an arm. I think I'd push it to about 150 or so, but I believe more pitches creates stronger arms. I don't think the Twins will have the same problem the Nationals did with the playoffs....
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      You'd like to limit his innings at Rochester so he is able to pitch deeper into the season at the MLB level, but if his innings are limited at AAA, how is anyone going to be able to determine if a promotion is warrented?

      Of course if he's killing it at AAA, the fans are going to demand a callup while the front office is trying to figure out how best to play the Super 2 game with him.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      He is 25, and in his prime. Worrying about his pay 5 years into his MLB career seems to misunderstand some pretty fundamental odds of his career turning out in certain ways. This has been a weakness of teams for a few years now. Had Trout been in the majora all year, Anaheim might be in the playoffs....not that I think Gibson is Trout or the Twins are the Angels.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      If Gibson really is lights-out in Spring Training, it's going to be really interesting to see what Terry Ryan does with him. He's essentially (and rightfully) told his manager that his job is on the line in 2013 and a bad start could even see a change made in mid-season. Given that, would he really also tell him that he can't use one of his best starting pitchers (potentially even THE best) until May or even June? That would be an interesting conversation to listen in on.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      If he is one of the best 5 starters and it's hard to believe he wouldn't be he should start with the Twins. They could limit his innings by skipping his start once a month, that's easy to do with days off. That would limit his innings to what they want. I think the norm is about 150-160 innings.
    1. Ex-Iowegian's Avatar
      Ex-Iowegian -
      This is quite simply, very good news.
    1. joeboo_22's Avatar
      joeboo_22 -
      130 is way to few. I don't agree with a 170-180 limit but I can live with it. 130 though is at the point where I'd consider putting him in the bullpen. Which is not where he is needed. Unless he isn't 100%, he should pitch 180 innings as a starter.

      If he is 1 of the 5 best starters in ST, he should start with the Twins, I don't care, whether that means he has to be shut down in August. If he is on a 130 IP count, the last thing we need is for him to use 30 of them in Rochester, when we have starters getting lit up in Minnesota
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      Quote Originally Posted by Twins Twerp View Post
      Quote Originally Posted by greengoblinrulz View Post
      Stunned by TR's statement of Gibson getting only 130 innings next yr after getting 70ish innings already THIS season. Where does that come from.
      Handling of Hicks/Arcia/Gibson just shows me that the club isnt interested in truly competing next yr....just field a team & hope for the best.
      Some people will look at anything half full. Are still complaining about 2 AA hitters not getting called up to get 5 AB's in September? I mean how bad is your life that you have to come on this website, day after day, and post your negative viewpoint. "Pitch to contact is the worst, Tom Kelly's is a good high school coach, we take to long to call up our prospects, nag nag nag." This organization has hit a rough patch but it did spend the last decade being one of the top teams in the AL. So I think we should all just calm down and let TR do his thing and get us back to respectability. This team is not that far off.
      Amen and thank you. To go nuts and start rushing players will destroy them. Why not hold off get them more ready. 1.5 weeks ago i heard Rosen insinuate that we should rush Sano up to the mlb level. Good lord why?

      When the young players are ready they will get to target field.

      Relax please.
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      If he pitches well in ST and they want to limit innings and ease him in slowly, I'd prefer to see him used sparingly in relief with the Twins rather than starting in Rochester. That way, he starts to experience MLB competition before joining the rotation and fires fewer of his bullets against AAA players. I know it affects contract status eventually, but they need to play every angle they can to establish a real, major-league rotation now.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Do you really want to put someone in the bullpen who is coming back from major surgery AND has never pitched from the bullpen before... AND at a level of competition he has never seen before? That sounds like a recipe for disaster to me. In addition, some pitchers (i.e. Slowey) just don't feel right out of the pen, so how in the world is he supposed to know what arm pain is normal bullpen usage versus breakup of scar tissue or something worse?
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