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  • Would Bringing Back Kyle Gibson Makes Sense?


    Sherry Cerny

    The Minnesota Twins’ bullpen has been struggling all season. The Twins need pitching now to make it to win the division and reach the postseason. With that said, maybe the best way for the Twins to capitalize is to bring Kyle Gibson home.

    Image courtesy of Rick Osentoski | USA TODAY

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    Kyle Gibson , a first-round pick in the 2009 draft (22nd overall). He spent the first nine years of his baseball career with the club. After a challenging 2019 season on and off the field,  he signed a three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Even with the health struggles, in 2018 and 2019, Gibson was among the top 20 pitchers in MLB 

    He became an All Star last year and should again be available at the trade deadline.

    Veteran Stability

    Gibson would provide stability for the Twins that they do not have right now. Sonny Gray is one of the Twins’ best pitchers; he went seven innings against Detroit and then struggled for five innings against the Guardians on Wednesday night. Dylan Bundy is the only pitcher this season to pitch through eight innings. The Twins’ bullpen is exhausted. Bringing a veteran pitcher into the rotation would increase the rest time for the key bullpen arms. 

    While the Twins do need bullpen pitchers, they also need pitching that is not on restrictions or struggles once they get past the fourth inning. With Josh Winder being optioned back to St. Paul, Chris Paddack, Bailey Ober, and a handful of relievers not playing right now, the rotation the Twins have is not effective and it shows.

    Gibson has already seen long games this season and the biggest let down hasn't been his pitching, it's been the Phillies offense, or lack there of.

    If the argument against bringing Gibson home is his pitching stats, I suggest reviewing how the Twins are doing before turning a nose up at the concept. Gibson can go deep into games, which no Twins pitchers have rarely been able to do.

    Even some Twins fans agree, it's time to bring Gibson home. 

    Gibson, after ten-plus years in the big leagues, his goal this season was not to reinvent himself or his pitching but to work on trying new things to catch hitters off guard. 

    Gibson already had six pitches in his arsenal, but the pitch he has been working on lately is the cutter. The cutter is all about deception, and it’s a nasty pitch. If he can continue to perfect it, he will be one of the most dangerous pitchers in the league. Gibson’s goal is to perfect the cutter on both the throwing and glove sides. As a righty, the glove side is more manageable. Gibson spent a lot of the lockout working on his cutter and now uses it about 20% of the time. His determination to consistently improve shows on the mound and in the clubhouse. 

    Leadership in the House
    Gibson is a leader who the Twins need for the remainder of the season. Since his contract ends after 2022 there is no commitment. Gibson is a good person, a leader, and a rally-man when the chips are down. The Rangers manager referred to Target Field as “The House that Kyle Gibson Built,” which tells you a lot. 

    Gibson went to the Rangers and didn’t waste any time bringing his infectious attitude into the clubhouse, becoming a role model for the younger players. A true leader wants everyone on their team to succeed, and that’s what Kyle Gibson wants, no matter where he is. He doesn’t hold the business of baseball against other players or coaches. He sits with the younger guys and hears their concerns, answering their questions and creating dialogue. 

    Most recently, the Phillies have had a rough season and, for the first time since 2020, dipped below .500, and Gibson noticed. Knowing what the team needs, he rallied the guys by reminding them to have fun.

    In an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer he told reporter Alex Coffey, “You are beating yourself if you are getting bogged down by the losses and not enjoying the wins.”

    He has told some of the younger hitters, “pretend they are playing backyard Wiffle ball,” meaning have fun and don’t forget why they love playing the game.

    The Twins hitters are having fun, but the pitchers look like they are going to a funeral every time they step onto the mound. There is a sense of dread and mistrust, not only from the fanbase, but  fans also see the struggles and dread on the faces of the players.

    Low Cost, High Return
    The cost of bringing Gibson on board is minimal. He has a $7 million payout left on his contract for 2022, making a trade for him one of the best things the Twins could do with minimal financial impact or player loss  on the team. The Phillies certainly will want a decent return on one of their best pitchers because the Phillies rely on their starting pitching and offense. Giving away the farm for Gibson would not be wise, but luckily the Phillies like guys they can grow. 

    They are looking for a center-fielder and some bullpen help, and while the Twins are also looking for that additional bullpen help, they do have some outfielders they could part with and some lower-level pitchers that are up and coming. 

    If the Twins mean business and want to sweeten the pot, they could send minor-league pitchers Yennier Cano or Marco Raya as part of a package. The great thing about bringing home Gibson is that for the Twins, it could be an excellent value, much like bringing Gio Urshela and Gary Sánchez, who have both been a part of the Twins’ offense, has been. You can’t put a price on the return of leadership, a solid arm, and rotation relief, but if you could. 

    Should the Twins consider a reunion with Kyle Gibson? 

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    He's pitched well this season. I could see him in the rotation. I could see a possibility of putting Ober in the pen (where I thought he had the best chance of success when he 1st came up) where I think he could be a shutdown type of reliever, at least for the rest of this year.

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    No - there is a reason that "you can't go home again" remains a cliche.  Thomas Wolfe added, " Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don't freeze up.” 

    I am pleased that Gibson succeeded in his journey, but let's reach for another pitcher who will prosper from a change of scenery. 

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    I'd love to have Gibson back (I too, hated to see him go), he's a class act and he seems to have his condition under control. But I agree with 2win87, PHI isn't selling and I'd hate to give up a CF because we won't get enough for them and we need them. 

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    The only plus is that Gibson is pitching for a 2023 contract.

    Oh, and he would be making less money than the Twins paid him before they let him walk because arbitration would cost them too much.

    The Phillies traded three low-level prospects for Gibson, Kenndy, a prospect and cash. Not sure how much Gibson would actually be worth. But, I'm sure, a little bidding war might happen.

    He has had some short starts this season, too...as have had all pitchers in baseball.

    Would he really be the veteran presence the Twins need? Would explore, but then I ask "who would he replace on our pitching staff" and if he replaces someone like, say, Ober...is the tradeout for the best? Besides, who is Ober going to replace when he comes back?

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    2 hours ago, 2wins87 said:

    The Phillies aren't sellers

    I think this is the key aspect: even if Gibson was a good fit for the Twins (he's a quality starter, so it's not like he ISN'T a fit), or if starting pitching was the priority (I don't think it is right now, with starters getting healthy) I don't see the Phillies looking to move him. They're trying to get in the playoffs this year, and are only a few games out. Absent a total collapse, I don't think Gibson is going anywhere.

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    3 hours ago, 2wins87 said:

    The Phillies aren't sellers

     

    1 hour ago, jmlease1 said:

    I think this is the key aspect: even if Gibson was a good fit for the Twins (he's a quality starter, so it's not like he ISN'T a fit), or if starting pitching was the priority (I don't think it is right now, with starters getting healthy) I don't see the Phillies looking to move him. They're trying to get in the playoffs this year, and are only a few games out. Absent a total collapse, I don't think Gibson is going anywhere.

    That was my thought too, when I read the article.  The article didn't make a case why Philly would be looking to move a veteran starting pitcher.  They have used a recent 17-6 run to claw back into the fringes of the post-season picture.  And they have a good rotation but not great and I can't see them wanting to weaken it, nor is it clear to me (I am not versed in their system) that they have any SP prospects whatsoever knocking on the door and currently being wasted.  So I looked at their season stats and their players and then checked MLBTR, and the first relevant article I found states that they would be looking for relief help in return.

    Gibson for Pagan and Duffey?  Yeah, don't think so either.

    We don't match up in the slightest.

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    I don't think he would be traded by the Phillies. But, he might be good in clubhouse. And being a strong veteran would also be a good choice because of the lose of our pitching coach. However, I was looking for a more high end caliber pitcher like montas or Castillo.

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    I like Gibson and he would be an upgrade to the starting staff.  But it takes 2 teams to make a deal and I don't see much reason why Phillies would trade him at this point.  They need him if they are serious about contending this year.

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    Kind of confused why the Twins would trade for a guy with a higher ERA and WHIP then any of its current starting pitchers.

    I agree with @nicksaviking I think starting pitcher's innings are more of a organizational philosophy then a problem with the pitchers. Taking Bundy out the other night wasn't because he can't pitch more than 60 pitchers (he has proved he can) it was the Twins way. 

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    No. Dear God, please.... no.

    Too much history of not being able to get the 3rd strike (or the 3rd out) after having done reasonably well over the previous two innings. We have enough of of those guys in the rotation right now.

    And 1 good game followed by a blowout, a clunker and/or no-decision. Nope. Not interested.

    Give the kids a chance. Lots more fun that way.

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    This doesn't seem likely. He's probably about as available as:

    • Carlos Rodon
    • Noah Sydergaard
    • Aaron Nola
    • Charlie Morton
    • Adam Wainwright
    • Corey Kluber (Knowing the Rays, he actually might be available. Fair enough)
    • Sean Manea

    Why Gibson as opposed to these other pitchers?

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    I like Gibson.  And I think that a piggyback game plan with Gibson and Archer each going 4 to 5 innings might work well.  I don't like the idea of a starter going 5 innings and then having 4 different relievers finishing the game which it seems we do now.  But I wouldn't want to give up too much if it was just for the remainder of this year.  I wouldn't mind seeing Gibson with a two to three year extension and if he would be okay with working out of the pen especially in a piggyback situation.  Personally I prefer the days of starters going 7 or 8 innings but I think those days are gone for the most part.

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    4 hours ago, TwinsDr2021 said:

    Kind of confused why the Twins would trade for a guy with a higher ERA and WHIP then any of its current starting pitchers.

    I agree with @nicksaviking I think starting pitcher's innings are more of a organizational philosophy then a problem with the pitchers. Taking Bundy out the other night wasn't because he can't pitch more than 60 pitchers (he has proved he can) it was the Twins way. 

    I was thinking the same thing.  Every pitcher we have has better stats with the exception of Bundy.  Much prefer we get a back of the BP guy.

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