September 25, 2018

Kyle Gibson and the fire next time

Before the 2018 season began, Kyle Gibson went to salary arbitration against his employer, the Twins, and lost, settling for $4.2 million for this season after seeking $4.55 million. I imagine he sought that higher amount based on his second-half performance in 2017, which saw him finally shake off his inconsistent ways and win more consistently. Without his improved performance, I doubt the Twins would have qualified for the postseason as they ultimately did.

Gibson is also arbitration eligible in 2019, and this time the Twins are going to lose. Despite his 9-13 record, it has been a good season for Gibson. I expect him to get one more start before the season is over; if not, he has already set a career high in strikeouts with 172 and a career low ERA of 3.68. He also is close to a career high in innings pitched and he tied a career high for quality starts with 17.

His last quality start came on Sunday after he went seven strong against the Oakland A’s and limited them to one run on seven hits. Gibson got some great defense behind him in the form of third baseman Ehire Adrianza and the Twins went on to beat the A’s, 5-1.

“I was glad that Mollie (Twins manager Paul Molitor) let me go back out for the eighth inning,” Gibson told MLB.com. “That’s something I want to try to do more and more. I definitely didn’t physically feel my best today. I had spotty fastball command early and then found a little something mechanic-wise that kept me on the ball a little bit better.”

The win also staved off disaster after the Twins suffered back-to-back walk-off losses on Friday and Saturday.

Extra innings…

-The final homestand of the season is here. It begins with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday and ends with the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. The Twins have yet to name a starting pitcher for Tuesday’s game, which makes me think the Twins might use an “opener.”

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.