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Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson

Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

Rehabbed Gibson makes 'em miss

  • February 19, 2013 - 8:45 PM

FORT MYERS, FLA. - It was only the second day of live batting practice. Hitters don't have their timing down and pitchers are not in game situations.

But the Twins liked a lot of pitchers they watched on Tuesday. At the top of the list was righthander Kyle Gibson, who looked sharp during his session against Joe Benson, Brian Dinkelman and Eric Fryer.

Gibson said he didn't command his fastball as well as he could have but is pleased he is close to having the feel for all his pitches in his first full season following Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2011. Although the hitters knew what was coming, Gibson still got plenty of swings and misses.

"I think my changeup is pretty much where I want it," Gibson said. "The fastball command in the bullpen has been as good as I could have it. Out there today, that's the thing I wouldn't critique myself too much on. I was missing down [in the strike zone], but wasn't hitting as many spots as I wanted to."

Jose Berrios, one of the Twins' supplemental-round picks in last year's draft, also raised eyebrows. The righthander worked fast, stayed around the plate and onlookers buzzed with approval as he threw several breaking balls.

WBC stuff

Righthander Samuel Deduno has been named to the Dominican Republic's tentative roster for the World Baseball Classic and could land in its starting rotation.

"Most of my family is pretty excited," Deduno said.

He will leave Twins camp during the first week of March to join the Dominican squad.

Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven already is with the Netherlands team as it trained in Arizona before traveling to Taiwan on Tuesday to prepare for Group play that begins March 2.

Blyleven, the pitching coach for the Dutch team, said his staff is stronger than in past WBC tournaments. "They all look really good and are excited to compete," Blyleven said. "They are all throwing strikes."

Etc.

• Lefthander Scott Diamond climbed on a mound and threw 20 pitches as he works his way back from December surgery to remove a bone chip in his elbow. He will have another light session Wednesday and hopefully again Friday.

LET'S MEET

MICHAEL TONKIN

Righthanded reliever

Age: 23

Acquired: 30th round pick in 2008

2012 stats: 3-0, 1.38 ERA in 22 games at Class A Beloit, then 1-1, 2.97 in 22 games at Class A Fort Myers.

Role: Could begin at Class AA New Britain this year. Throws 93-95 mph with good movement and has developed a slider to finish off hitters.

Did you know? The Twins signed him for $230,000 to keep him from going to USC. Also is Jason Kubel's brother-in-law.

LA VELLE E. NEAL III

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