The Minnesota Twins have finally reported for Spring Training. This is the time of year when the roster comes into focus. This is also The time of year for arbitration hearings.
The Minnesota Twins were unable to reach an agreement with Kyle Gibson ahead of going to arbitration. The two sides received the results of the hearing on Thursday, with the Twins coming out “victorious”.
The gap between the two proposals was only $355K, but Minnesota wouldn’t budge from their offer. Every player should have the utmost confidence in themselves and Gibson came on strong to close out the 2018 season to help strengthen his case.
How strong was Gibson’s case?
Gibson was 6-8 with an astronomical 6.08 ERA through his first 18 starts last season. He allowed a whopping 45 walks while striking out only 62 batters allowing a .305 BAA over 92 2/3 innings pitched. That’s about as bad as any pitcher can start a season, but Gibson didn’t hang his head. He buckled down over the final two months of the season to help propel the Minnesota Twins into the playoffs.
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Over his last 11 starts Gibson looked like a completely different pitcher. He compiled a 6-2 record with 59 strikeouts and only 15 walks over 63 1/3 innings pitched. Gibson also dropped his BAA to .270 while his ERA was a solid 3.55 over that stretch showing tremendous growth.
At the end of the day both sides have a legitimate argument for their case. Gibson will deliver enough production to be a middle of the rotation type pitcher. He showed enough improvement late in the ’18 season to warrant optimism. However, the Minnesota Twins are a small market team and every dollar counts.
The Twins still need to upgrade their rotation and even that little bit saved will help. Gibson isn’t a frontline starting pitcher but he is a quality Major League pitcher. Hopefully, Minnesota can land one of the pitchers still available on the market.
Minnesota needs Gibson to be the pitcher he was to close last season if they are going to contend with the Cleveland Indians. He can be a big piece for the Twins rotation if he continues to progress as he he did to close out the ’18 season. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.