Much is being made of the Twins’ handling of Kyle Gibson this season. The Major League starting pitching has been pretty terrible, and Gibson has been pretty good at AAA. It’s now more than two months into the season and he’s eaten up well over half of his allotted innings for the season with no imminent call up seemingly looming. At this point it’s beginning to look like the Twins may wait so long that he doesn’t have a chance to get meaningful time in at the Major League level this year. As much as I’d like to give the Twins the benefit of the doubt, this reeks of a wasted opportunity.
Gibson talks with coach Stu Cliburn and catcher Chris Herrmann on the mound during the second inning of a Spring Training game with the Phillies (Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
The Twins appear poised to be much better next year and could potentially be fringe contenders. It would make sense to get Gibson through some of his Major League growing pains in a year where the team has no such aspirations. And it’s not as if he’d be taking innings away from anyone the team has huge plans for going forward. The Twins could easily go to a six man rotation or demote one of the current starters to the bullpen to make room. The argument could be made that the current starters are pitching better lately but that’s really not a huge concern if you’re trying to play for the future. The party line is that they’d like to see more consistency out of him at AAA. It’s extremely odd that they don’t seem to ask the same of their Major League starters. The Twins current management staff’s record in the treatment of young players is already pretty spotty so it’s hard to trust their stated rationale to why Gibson is still in the minors. They certainly would never be accused of rushing him ahead of schedule at this point.
Could the current staff be trying too hard to win games now for fear of losing their jobs? Might they be auditioning current batch of starters for potential trades? Anybody else have any thoughts as to why we still haven’t seen him?