Monday, April 14, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Kyle Gibson

Minnesota's pitching rotation had some rough moments at the beginning of the season. This weekend's series with the Royals helped to get things moving in the right direction. Even with the tough patches, one of the strongest members of the rotation has been Kyle Gibson. He's earned victories in each both of his starts this season and he has a miniscule 1.59 ERA.

There were questions in the spring about whether Gibson would make the team or not. Scott Diamond, Vance Worley, and Sam Deduno were all out of options so many felt they would be given the chance to start the year in Minnesota. Poor performances from a couple names on the list and a strong spring from Gibson earned him the final spot and a chance to prove his first round pedigree.

2013 Recap: 6.53 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 29 SO, 20 BB (51.0 IP)
In his first full season back from Tommy John surgery, there were positive signs from Gibson at the Triple-A level. His posted an ERA under 3.00 and he racked up 87 strikeouts in a little over 100 innings on the mound. With how bad the rotation was pitching in Minnesota, there were some who were clamoring to see Gibson at the big league level well before he made his debut. He made 10 starts for the Twins in the second half of the season and there were some bumps and bruises along the way. He allowed seven home runs and his BB/9 and SO/9 rates were well below his marks in the minor leagues. There can be some fatigue on a pitchers arm at the end of season especially one that hadn't pitched more than 95.1 innings in any minor league campaign. There was still some hope for Gibson at the end of last season and fans were left wonder what to expect moving into 2014.

Forecasting 2014: 4.40 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 86 SO, 52 BB (130.0 IP)
Gibson's good start to the season doesn't mean he will be in the hunt for this year's Cy Young Award. His ERA will go up and he won't be able to win all of the starts that he makes. To this point in the year, he has walked more men (8) than he has struck out (6) so that will be a trend to keep an eye on. The ball has stayed in the park so far this year but it has been a small sample size. It would be nice to see him last a little longer into games as he has been averaging less than six innings pitched. The Twins bullpen is going to need any break it can get this year and it always helps when the starter can pitch into the seventh inning. There shouldn't be any reason for the Twins to send Gibson down to Rochester since he is 26-years old and the team needs to see what they have in him for the future. He does have minor league options left so there is a chance the team could send him down but hopefully Gibson continues to pitch well enough so that won't be an option for the team.

25-Man Roster Safety: Loosely Locked-In

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