Twins To Name Gibson Fifth Starter
At the outset of camp, it appeared that Kyle Gibson had a very slim chance of claiming a spot in the Twins rotation. He struggled mightily in his major-league debut last year and, unlike his competition for the fifth starter spot, there was no outside urgency to keep him on the 25-man roster.
Nevertheless, La Velle E. Neal III is reporting that the Twins have decided on Gibson as their fifth starter
This may come as a shock to some, because it isn't exactly business as usual for the Twins, who typically go out of their way to protect assets, but they've said all along that they wanted to bring the best pitcher north and that's what they're doing. Options and such aside, Gibson is the most talented of the pool.
There have been several signs that this move was coming. I remarked last night
that among the contenders to round out the rotation, Gibson was the only one who has completed five innings in a start. Earlier this morning, the Twins announced the pitchers that were lined up to start the next five Grapefruit games; Gibson was one of them, while Scott Diamond and Samuel Deduno were not.
And then of course there was that smart guy Glen Perkins, who told me in the clubhouse on Tuesday
not to sleep on Gibson in this race.
According to Neal, Deduno will open the season in the Twins' bullpen, while Diamond's fate is unclear at this point.