Resurgence: Kyle Gibson
Not only did Kyle Gibson surge from his previous few seasons in the second half of 2017, he surged from his miserable first half!
Gibson was on the track to becoming a very solid mid-rotation starter after showing solid improvement in 2014 and 2015 in his first two full seasons starting at the big league level, and many were expecting another step forward for Gibson in 2016. Instead, he fell backwards, posting a 5.07 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP, with a 55/104 BB/K ratio over 147 1/3 innings.
If you looked just on the overall season numbers, you would think not much changed with Gibson in 2017. He threw 158 innings, with a 5.07 ERA and 1.53 WHIP, posting a 60/121 BB/K ratio.
However, if you dig deeper, you see much, much more there. Through May, Gibson had 8 starts, throwing just 36 2/3 innings, with a 7.85 ERA, 1.96 WHIP, and a 21/25 BB/K ratio. He was optioned to the minors for just shy of 3 weeks in May, but it didn’t seem to affect him when he came back as he had another struggling performance to close out May.
Gibson had two months of fairly solid performances in June and July both that were thrown off by one brutal performance in each month. If you remove Gibson’s June 13th start against Seattle and his July 9th start against Baltimore, his middle two months of the season look much different:
- June/July raw: 10 starts, 58 innings, 4.97 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 24/37 BB/K
- June/July sans those 2 starts: 8 starts, 48 innings, 3.56 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 22/32 BB/K
After an excellent start on July 22nd, where he threw 7 1/3 innings, Gibson was optioned to the minors to make room for a new acquisition. He returned on August 5th, and his run to finish the season was some of the best pitching the Twins have seen out of him in his career, regardless of what the stats would say, but the stats also bear it out, as he made 11 starts between August and September, posting a 3.55 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and a 15/59 BB/K ratio over 63 1/3 innings.
Gibson is in his second season of arbitration this offseason. He will be an interesting arbitration case for the team, with MLB Trade Rumors projecting a $5.3M salary, a $2.4M increase from 2017.