Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson on Thursday fell to 0-4 with an ERA of 8.20 after the Twins lost 8-5 in the final game of a three-game series with the Oakland A’s.
Gibson hasn’t pitched well all season, but Thursday’s performance finally earned him a one-way ticket to Triple-A Rochester. All of this is disappointing because Gibson pitched well during spring training and finished March with a team-leading ERA of 1.59.
But here’s what’s about to happen: Like spring training, Gibson will find success at the minor league level. Despite his struggles, he’s a veteran pitcher whose experience likely will fool inexperienced hitters. Perhaps there are other factors as well, such as the chance to regain his form outside the limelight of Major League Baseball. Upon his return to the Twins, though, I expect him to once again struggle. I just don’t think Gibson has the stuff to succeed in the bigs.
-So who replaces Gibson in the rotation? I’m still rooting for Jose Berrios to get an extended shot with the Twins and new catcher Jason Castro. Castro has so far worked wonders with Ervin Santana and Hector Santiago. Berrios, too, has nothing left to prove at the minor league level. He needs to find success at the next level before the Twins are forced to come up with another plan for him.
-The other contenders for Gibson’s spot are pitchers Tyler Duffey, Adalberto Mejia and Nick Tepesch.
-With the loss, the Twins fell to 14-12 in the American League Central, a half game out of first place behind the White Sox and Indians.
-Phil Hughes gets the ball on Friday at home versus the always-tough Boston Red Sox.