Minnesota native Caleb Thielbar is set to make his major league debut with his hometown team.
The Twins announced Monday that Thielbar, a left-handed reliever, has been recalled from Triple-A Rochester. To make room for Thielbar on the roster, Minnesota optioned left-hander Pedro Hernandez to Rochester.
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Thielbar, a native of Randolph, Minn., pitched in 17 games as a reliever this year with the Red Wings. He posted a 3.76 ERA with 34 strikeouts and eight walks in 26 1/3 innings. Thielbar has pitched in eight straight games without allowing an earned run, dating back to late April. Last year he pitched for three of Minnesota’s minor league affiliates and eventually ascended to Triple-A, where he was 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA in 25 games.
The 26-year-old Thielbar was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 18th round of the 2009 draft and was signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent in 2011. Before he signed with Minnesota, Thielbar pitched for the independent St. Paul Saints of the American Association.
Hernandez was acquired from the White Sox in the Francisco Liriano trade last year. He made his Twins debut this season and was 2-1 with a 5.85 ERA in eight games (six starts).
With Hernandez sent to Rochester, the Twins will now need a fifth starter for Friday’s game in Detroit. A move to fill that spot will be made at a later date, but there’s a chance it could be prospect Kyle Gibson, who pitched a three-hit shutout on Sunday. Friday’s outing would match up with his next scheduled start. The 25-year-old Gibson has been knocking on the door of his major league debut, and Sunday’s outing may have been enough to earn him the promotion. The Twins do have other pitchers in Triple-A who may be a candidate to take Hernandez’ spot in the rotation, however, including P.J. Walters and Cole De Vries, both of whom have appeared in the majors.