Twins send Gibson, Thielbar to Rochester

Twins prospect Kyle Gibson will begin the season in Rochester after a rocky spring training.

Many Twins fans were hoping Kyle Gibson would be the team's fifth starting pitcher this year. Turns out they'll have to wait for his big-league debut.

Gibson was reassigned to Triple-A Rochester on Thursday as one of a handful of cuts made by Minnesota. The 25-year-old right-hander, who missed most of 2012 after having Tommy John surgery, posted a 10.50 ERA in three Grapefruit League games this spring. In six innings of work, he gave up seven earned runs on 12 hits. Gibson also struck out six and walked two.

Gibson was Minnesota's first-round pick in 2009 (22nd overall) out of the University of Missouri. Thursday's demotion leaves the door open for a number of other candidates to take that final rotation spot during the last few weeks of spring training. That includes Minnesota native Cole De Vries, who has allowed just two hits in seven scoreless innings this spring, and right-hander P.J. Walters, who also has yet to give up a run in seven innings.

Additionally, the Twins optioned left-hander Caleb Thielbar to Triple-A. Thielbar, a Randolph, Minn., native, was vying for a spot in Minnesota's bullpen as the third left-handed reliever along with Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing. In four innings of relief (three games) this spring, Thielbar allowed five runs on four hits, including a home run, to post an 11.25 ERA.

Minnesota also announced it reassigned right-hander Anthony Slama, catcher Kyle Knudson and infielder James Beresford to the team's minor league camp. Following Thursday's cuts, the Twins have 51 players in camp.

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