The Minnesota Twins have finally got their record to sit above the .500 mark. And it only took three weeks to do so. At least, during this season.
The last time the Twins had a winning record was May 13, 2013, when their record was 18-17. With this feat finally accomplished, there is one pitcher who has stood out as a great benefactor to reaching that goal.
In his three starting opportunities so far this season, Gibson has a perfect 3-0 record, with wins coming from the Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals, and Toronto Blue Jays. In 19.1 innings of work, he’s walked nine batters and struck out 10. Gibson has given up only 12 hits, no home runs, and has an ERA of 0.93, which is the fourth best ERA in the major leagues.
In Gibson’s last starting appearance against Toronto, a game in which he went eight scoreless innings, the first-pitch temperature was recorded at 31 degrees, marking the game the coldest in Minnesota baseball history. The last time the Twins recorded the coldest game in team history was on May 2, 1967, when they hosted the New York Yankees at Metropolitan Stadium. The coldest recorded game in Target Field history came last year on April 12, when the Twins hosted the New York Mets.
So the cold seems to be no factor whatsoever for this hot pitcher. And this season has been quite a turnaround for someone who is still relatively new to the major league level.
Gibson was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2009, and was rated the #61 overall prospect by Baseball America prior to the 2010 season. Starting out the 2010 season with class A Fort Myers Miracle, Gibson was soon called up to the class AA New Britain Wild Cats. In mid-August, Gibson was called up again to the class AAA Rochester Red Wings.
After starting 18 games with Rochester in 2011, Gibson underwent Tommy John surgery. He did not return until late in the 2012 season, when he started two games for Rochester and six with the Arizona Fall League.
Gibson made his Major League debut for the Twins on June 29, 2013 against the Kansas City Royals, a game in which he pitched six innings and gave up two runs on eight hits. By the end of the season, Gibson made a total of 10 starts and went 2-4 with a 5.63 ERA.
Now, in just his first three starts, Gibson has surpassed his win record from last year, and has just a sliver of that ERA.
With this amazing start, I for one would almost expect the Twins to pick up a win every time Gibson steps on the mound. If he can keep up this amazing start, and stay healthy throughout the rest of the season, I would classify Gibson as a modern day version of Johan Santana. Gibson has been a near flawless pitcher in every pitching opportunity this year, and could be on the track to being one of the best, if not the best, pitcher in all of Major League Baseball.
Now, all the Twins need to do is work the rest of their pitching staff to work as well as Gibson. If that can happen, the Twins would be almost untouchable.