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Front Page: The Underappreciated, Hard-Luck Legacy of Kyle Gibson


Nick Nelson
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Following up ...

 

I have no ill-will toward Kyle.  By every appearance, he's a good man, someone you'd want representing your baseball team off the field, and I've never read a word about him being anything other than a good teammate.

 

He had a run where he was a very effective pitcher - it looked like he'd figured things out, gotten some "swagger," some belief in his stuff, where he'd go after hitters and get them out.

 

That's gone now, and has been for a while.  He pitches as if he believes every single mistake he makes is going to wind up in the upper deck; he just doesn't seem to believe his stuff is good enough to get guys out.

 

Long time ago, I heard Frank Viola tell a story, about when he was "green," wondering it he could get major league hitters out, and having trouble throwing strikes because of it.  His catcher at the time - whoever it was - basically told him "we're throwing it down the middle, whatever we throw tonight."   Frank complied, discovered his "stuff" was pretty good, and gained the confidence to go after hitters.

 

Once Frank got to where he wasn't so afraid of making mistakes, he made fewer of them, and his "good stuff" became even more effective.

 

Kyle simply doesn't believe in what he's doing.  At least, that's what I see.

Edited by BD57
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It will all depend on his health... We will have PLENTY of time to discuss bringing him back or not. If free agency continues the way it has been it will move at a snail's pace.

 

Given Gibson's age and health situation there won't be a line out the door bidding for him until Feb/March.

 

The Twins can spend the winter aiming higher, and if they miss, bring back Gibson.

This. Plus, a team that wants to spend as little as they do can't afford to pay more than minimum for a number five pitcher, as some call him.

 

It's all about health at this point.

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As a human being, Gibson is awesome. Really, a terrific guy.

 

In the current state of his pitching/baseball career, he is bad. Watching him struggle against one of THE worst teams in baseball, just inexcusable at this point. However, I blame some of this on Baldelli and the management for allowing Gibson to pitch in a meaningful game, given what he has/is dealing with physically. All things considered, Gibson pitching last night was pure negligence by Baldelli and his staff.

 

I am a fan, for the most part, of Baldelli and what he has shown as a manager, but it is decisions like these that make me shake my head. Slide Smeltzer or Thorpe into Gibson's spot in the rotation, and go from there. Gibson shouldn't be on the playoff roster either at this point.

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most of this is on Gibson himself to ask to be taken off the roster now!  He is very medically ill, and this has totally controlled his entire being along with not allowing him to be a average pitcher for the club. So, if Gibson doesn't tell the Twins to take him off the everyday roster so he can focus on his health, the Twins need to tell him after last nights debacle that he is being removed from the playing roster, and of course as well as not being on the playoff roster either.  as far as next season, yes, I think he would be ok as a #4=5 starter, but how did that work out again for us thinking the exact same thing with Perez??? Perez was solid early in the season, but when the weather as well as the hitters heated up, Perez also has really struggled to be considered a option for brining back for next season.  Gibson, No for next year, time to move on, Perez, I like him but just not enough to hold down a everyday pitching roster spot, I'd prefer to have the Littel's, Thorpe, Smeltzer, etc, play for youth, and that gives at least some future options, with Gibson and Perez, we already know both of these guys issues and for sure there struggles when the season is warming up and these arms are expected to at least make it through the 5th inning without putting his team behind early. 

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Oooh, I really hate the idea that we need to give a guy a break because he’s “hard luck”. The dude is making millions and the FO needs to decide if he’s worth, essentially, a whopping raise (due to experience) when he’s ending the season in such an awful way. The one thing in his favor is that our minor league system doesn’t seem to be able to churn out capable starting pitching on a consistent basis. I mean it’s been Gibson and Berríos and then.....uh....wait it’s coming to me....right, no one. So, given that the league has figured out Perez and the FO is going to have to decide whether to bring back Pineda....Gibson might just be a good bounce-back candidate.

But I’m not going with the emotion of Gibson being hard-luck, any more than Buxton being hard-luck. You play with what you got and right now Gibson isn’t maximizing what he’s got.

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He has been a professional in every sense of the word and represents the franchise well.  Overall I would say his career has been that of an average MLB pitcher.  If I were the FO i would have conversation about him getting healed up/rested up and staying well this offseason.  i would offer him a 2 year deal.  My guess is that he is/would be a great teacher/example for the young arms coming up.  He would be a solid 4th or 5th starter if we enhance the staff in the offseason.  Do we resign Odo/Big Mike add etc?  Several decisions need to be made on that front.  If he wants to explore more than a 2 year deal I would wish him the best in that endeavor.  WIN TWINS!

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Does anyone here remember the conversation Paul Molitor had with Gibson on the mound in the summer of 2017? Gibson was pitching that day much like he had the first half of the year. He was not having a good year and was nibbling too much. At least, as memory serves, Moliy thought so and chewed him out on a trip to the mound. Molly was much more animated than usual, so you could see something unusual was going on. Anyway, Gibson started throwing his 4-seam fastball more and threw it for strikes. He challenged hitters more and started to pitch much better after that mound visit! Not only in that particular game, but for the rest of the year.

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He may end up as a #4/5 starter for someone on a cheap 'prove it' deal. However, I am not sure that there will be a long line of teams calling on him. 

 

And this is one reason I don't see him back with the Twins. Historically, all MLB players want to test the market when they finally get free of team control. And they don't like it when the team who just controlled them gives them a low offer. Even if it's justified for medical reasons.

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A small point but arbitration can cause issues between club and player, but Gibson took his arbitration loss and moved on.  a couple of quotes about it.

 

“We all are very fortunate in here.”

 

“At the end of the day, I’ve got a job. I’m surrounded by a lot of good people who care about me and I’m still going to make a great salary to play baseball,” he said. “It’s a win-loss situation that I’m still pretty satisfied with.”

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The  things that made him change his pitching also has been one of his faults because he never could get to level to let the pitch fly when he had lead he was always trying to be perfect. This led to his walking batters and giving up big innings driving fans crazy. I still thing he has place with the Twins but i am afraid  his time here has ended. As individual he is what youre looking to add to a team from reports i have heard about him. This last couple of months he should  have been put on disabled list but i am afraid him being a free agent had some thought on this too. Its sad but this happen to many times to the Twins players coming into the playoffs how many times did we reach playoffs with several of star players either on disabled list or only shell of what they were earlier in the season.  I wonder when baseball analytics will figure it out that these players need break not just a day but like missing a road trip where they can heal up. Football plan it into there season and they also can just not have play for week on active roster. The level that is expected of these players and physical training they do takes alot out of there bodies.

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Following up ...

 

I have no ill-will toward Kyle. By every appearance, he's a good man, someone you'd want representing your baseball team off the field, and I've never read a word about him being anything other than a good teammate.

 

He had a run where he was a very effective pitcher - it looked like he'd figured things out, gotten some "swagger," some belief in his stuff, where he'd go after hitters and get them out.

 

That's gone now, and has been for a while. He pitches as if he believes every single mistake he makes is going to wind up in the upper deck; he just doesn't seem to believe his stuff is good enough to get guys out.

 

Long time ago, I heard Frank Viola tell a story, about when he was "green," wondering it he could get major league hitters out, and having trouble throwing strikes because of it. His catcher at the time - whoever it was - basically told him "we're throwing it down the middle, whatever we throw tonight." Frank complied, discovered his "stuff" was pretty good, and gained the confidence to go after hitters.

 

Once Frank got to where he wasn't so afraid of making mistakes, he made fewer of them, and his "good stuff" became even more effective.

 

Kyle simply doesn't believe in what he's doing. At least, that's what I see.

Probably Sal Butera.

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Great story. Helps us all regain some perspective. Major props!!

I doubt the Twins were planning on re-signing him even before his disastrous appearances. I believe they wish to move on. Could he help another team? Perhaps.

What I remember most about his Twins career was our saying before each start...do we get good Gibson or bad Gibson tonite. He was very inconsistent.

 

I think he's done for this season though.

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Could be a reason why Gibson is under appreciated. Too many meh to bad starts sprinkled in with some gems.

 

He's underappreciated for reason, look at the company he is in. It's unfortunate he has never reached his full potential and dealt with numerous injuries.

 

I welcome a change and wish him the best of luck in the future..

 

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Do folks think the FO wont try to keep him?
Why?
I dont have great confidence in the guy but he's a fine #4 or #5 guy.

If he could be kept for reasonable amount of $$ and years do it.

 

I think that you answered your own question:

 

They will find  #5 guys within the organization (Smeltzer, Thorpe, Dobnak, Jax, etc.) for minimum salary or better #4 outside the organization (Bailey, Chacin, Gonzalez, etc) for half to 1/3 his price (about 3/$36M.)

 

I think that the Twins should stop spending that much $ for bottom of the rotation types and start using it to sign top of the rotation types they really need.  Not the Gibsons (career 4.53 ERA with the Twins,) Correias (4.49), and Hughes (4.61) of the world.  For some reason I do not remember cries of re-signing Correia after a very similar season (4.94 ERA, 1.461 WHIP for Correia then, 4.88 ERA, 1.430 WHIP and worsening for Gibson now.)

 

This team is a competitor and better start behaving like one.

Edited by Thrylos
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Does anyone here remember the conversation Paul Molitor had with Gibson on the mound in the summer of 2017? Gibson was pitching that day much like he had the first half of the year. He was not having a good year and was nibbling too much. At least, as memory serves, Moliy thought so and chewed him out on a trip to the mound. Molly was much more animated than usual, so you could see something unusual was going on. Anyway, Gibson started throwing his 4-seam fastball more and threw it for strikes. He challenged hitters more and started to pitch much better after that mound visit! Not only in that particular game, but for the rest of the year.

The nibbling was the thing that really annoyed me.  Gibson would start-off having some good innings.  Then, all of a sudden, crap.  Couldn't roll a sinker over the plate.  

 

Still, only 31.  I just don't know.  The inconsistency is really aggravating.  

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Of the 49 prospects described as first round selections in the 2009 draft, only 7 of them have generated more WAR than Kyle Gibson. Gibson deserves credit for being dedicated to his craft. He has faced and overcome some real challenges as Nick has nicely pointed out.

 

It's possible that he's reached a point where this disease, which has no known cure, will keep him from fully regaining his capabilities as a pitcher. But if the medical professionals and Gibson both are convinced he can come back, I can easily imagine him signing a prove-it one year deal with the Twins.

 

I have to confess, however, that aesthetically he somehow leaves me kind of flatlined even when he's going well. Could be the slow pace I suppose. Like everyone else, I'd love to see him rise up to this latest challenge.

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I think that you answered your own question:

 

They will find  #5 guys within the organization (Smeltzer, Thorpe, Dobnak, Jax, etc.) for minimum salary or better #4 outside the organization (Bailey, Chacin, Gonzalez, etc) for half to 1/3 his price (about 3/$36M.)

 

 

If those are the alternatives, I think I'd rather have Gibson. Mostly because I think you found your 3/36M figure from last year's extension discussion threads. If Gibson gets better than a one year deal + an option year he's got the best agent on the planet.

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Technically Trout isn't on the IL either, so I'd say it's a wash between him and Gibson. :)

Mike Trout verses Kyle Gibson will never be a wash in any way, shape, or form. One is far and away superior over the other. Take a guess who it is.

Edited by rv78
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If Gibson's health is his problem then he should not pitch in another game the rest of this year, starting or in relief. His last 7 starts, not counting the start against the Royals which would only make these stats worse, over 32 innings, 48 hits, 15 walks, 27 runs, a 1.97 WHIP, and his ERA is 7.59.

 

I realize he wants to help the Twins and be part of the success but he is only hurting the team at this point. It's WAAAY past time for the Manager to step forward and give the ball to someone else.

Edited by rv78
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I admire Kyle Gibson as a man and as a professional athlete. I wish him nothing but the best, as I'm sure all of us at TD wish for him.   

 

I agree with you on the first sentence and a half, but unfortunately I'm not so sure about your last 11 words.

 

I've been struck that over the last few weeks there have been a lot more comments on TD that have come across to me as mean-spirited. Perhaps it's because the stakes have increased with their place in the standings and the potential for a playoff spot, but it feels like there are fewer "Gibson (or Perez, or Baldelli, or Schoop, or whoever) is struggling tonight" comments and more "Gibson (or Perez, or Baldelli...) sucks/is scum/should never be heard from again" comments. That's why the tone of some of the comments leaves me unconvinced that all of us actually do hope for the best for him. I'm not calling out anyone in particular on this thread, because that spirit has felt pervasive on a lot of threads. 

 

But I'm with you tarheeltwinsfan. I too wish him the very best.

 

The fact is that when we make these pronouncements, none of us have access to any of the medical reports or to the conversations he's had or hasn't had with management, including in the future. I liken it to last year's TD comments about Joe Mauer, which also often took a mean-spirited turn. As the season was coming to an end and there was speculation on what would happen, the main feeling that kept coming back to me was empathy for what he was going through, and even sympathy for him for having to go through it on such a public front. The vast majority of us have never had to deal with that kind of public challenge.

 

We couldn't have any idea how the concussions were affecting him, but I always hoped that Mauer would be able to make the decision for what was right on his own terms. And if he chose to play, that he and the Twins would have been able to have an open and honest discussion on the role he might play on the team going forward. And selfishly, if he still had the health and drive to play, that he'd be able to do that as a Twin. But if not, I'll get over it.

 

Gibson has had nowhere the same effect on the franchise as Mauer did, but he still has carried himself with class and dignity. My first hope for him is also that he'll be able to make decisions on his own terms, both now and in the future. If that includes him shutting himself down, so be it. If not, I hope that the Twins are able to have open and honest conversations with him about his role going forward the rest of the season. I hope they are doing everything they can to get him back to health. And if the answer is, "Kyle, your health situation is different from someone having a broken leg, but we've come to the decision that your injury needs to keep you off the active roster for the playoffs," then so be it. 

 

And similarly in the off season. On the surface, it seems hard to imagine that they'll be able to get him back to good enough health to offer him a qualifying offer. That seems a foregone conclusion given the timing.

 

However, as I've said in an earlier thread, I would love it if the message to him is, "Kyle, when you're on, you can legitimately help us as a No. 3/4/5 starter. We can't give you a QO given your health status, but we want to give you the opportunity to make QO money. Demonstrate to us and our doctors that you are ready to start the season, and we'll guarantee the $8.125 MM we gave you in 2019. And here's the incentive plan (based on innings) that can get you to the $18MM you would have gotten with a QO. If you can give us 175 innings at the level you pitched from mid-2017 to mid-2019, combined with the leadership you provide to our young pitchers, you'll be worth it. And we believe in you." 

 

Descending from soap box...

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The "yuck factor" for this is high, but I wonder if Gibson's doctors have considered a fecal transplant.

 

https://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/ulcerative-colitis/news/20190122/fecal-transplants-may-help-ease-painful-colitis#1

 

This treatment has produced semi-miraculous results in some people for whom drug therapies have been ineffectual. By simply adjusting the gut flora/fauna in this way, people have been cured of several auto-immune diseases, and diseases that are resistant to penicillin related drugs. 

 

Kyle Gibson should stop pitching, right now. His health is degrading before our eyes, and I don't want to see him literally collapse on the mound. Get well first, Kyle Gibson. We don't need a championship badly enough to cost your health. 

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The "yuck factor" for this is high, but I wonder if Gibson's doctors have considered a fecal transplant.

 

https://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/ulcerative-colitis/news/20190122/fecal-transplants-may-help-ease-painful-colitis#1

 

This treatment has produced semi-miraculous results in some people for whom drug therapies have been ineffectual. By simply adjusting the gut flora/fauna in this way, people have been cured of several auto-immune diseases, and diseases that are resistant to penicillin related drugs.

 

Kyle Gibson should stop pitching, right now. His health is degrading before our eyes, and I don't want to see him literally collapse on the mound. Get well first, Kyle Gibson. We don't need a championship badly enough to cost your health.

 

The junior high boy in me wanted to click “like.” So I did.

 

And when I shared the article with my son, he told me that after he got C.Diff. last spring after an international study class and antibiotics were not doing the job, the doctor was very close to recommending that either my wife, other son, or me provide a sample for such a transplant. Apparently the procedure is not uncommon at all.

 

Wow, the things one learns when reading TD.

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The junior high boy in me wanted to click “like.” So I did.

And when I shared the article with my son, he told me that after he got C.Diff. last spring after an international study class and antibiotics were not doing the job, the doctor was very close to recommending that either my wife, other son, or me provide a sample for such a transplant. Apparently the procedure is not uncommon at all.

Wow, the things one learns when reading TD.

We do not exist as discrete creatures. We are managers of an enormous zoo of animals and plants that compose our guts and the rest of our bodies. When the zoo gets thrown out of balance (by for instance the over-use of antibiotics, or antibiotics in our food), then all manner of things can and do go wrong. 

 

A fecal transplant can actually cure certain diseases. Ulcerative colitis is one of several targets. Others include Crone's disease, C. Diff, and some claim it has reduced symptoms of asthma. 

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Gibby is his own worst enemy. No reason to feel sorry for him for his Twins tenure. He is obstinate and apparently difficult for pitching coaches. His getting sick on a humanitarian mission was very unfortunate. Everything else Gibby has done to himself. His free agency at year end will not end well for him. Tigers don’t change their stripes !!

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Gibson is his own worst enemy. Based on his pitching record, he is neither under appreciated nor hard luck. He is obstinate and apparently has rejected several Twins pitching coaches attempts to get him to pound the zone. He seems like a good guy and was very unfortunate to get sick on a goodwill mission. But his free agency this year will result in huge discounts from what he could and should have been able to sign for because of his obstinacy.

 

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I have defended him over the years.   He's a little like the 2nd version of Liriano.   He's not as good as people were hoping for so many write him off as bad....

 

In the "disappointed in the career results" category, YES to Liriano comp.

 

But in the "compelling, must see" category, a big NO. Scott Baker, or even more, like Jason Vargas, in the "provider of baseball entertainment" category.

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I don’t feel sorry for Gibson, because he’s already had a successful career...yes, even given his draft status. Go look at some of the other names in the back half of that draft...or read Birdwatchers post above. Precious few seem to get that. If the fans constantly obsess on why Gibson isn’t/wasn’t better...that’s what fans do...but it doesn’t mean that what he did accomplish didn’t happen. The thing I like about Gibson the most is that he DOES get it.

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