Twins top prospect Gibson could need elbow surgery

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 4, 2011 - 12:28 PM

The Twins' top pitching prospect is on his way to Minnesota -- not to join the club, but for an examination.

hide

Kyle Gibson during spring training in March, 2011.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

ANAHEIM, CALIF. - Kyle Gibson, the Twins' top pitching prospect, has an elbow injury that could require Tommy John ligament replacement surgery.

Gibson, 23, was placed on the disabled list Tuesday at Class AAA Rochester because of a strained flexor muscle. He had an MRI exam and is heading to Minnesota to be examined by Twins doctors on Monday.

"You're always concerned it might be his ulnar nerve," Twins minor league director Jim Rantz said. "I think we've got to wait for a reading from our doctors. There's enough concern that we're bringing him to Minnesota."

Though Rantz mentioned the ulnar nerve, the team also is concerned it might be the ulnar collateral ligament, the one commonly replaced now for pitchers through the Tommy John procedure. Francisco Liriano, Joe Nathan, Carl Pavano and Brian Duensing are among the Twins pitchers who've had Tommy John surgery.

The Twins chose Gibson out of the University of Missouri with their first-round pick (No. 22 overall) in 2009. He was considered a top-10 talent but fell to them because of a fracture in his right forearm.

The Twins narrowly beat the deadline to sign Gibson that summer, giving him a $1.85 million bonus. He rocketed through their system last year, climbing from Class A Fort Myers to Rochester as he went a combined 11-6 with a 2.96 ERA.

Over the winter, Baseball America ranked Gibson as the game's 61st-best prospect. The 6-6 righthander impressed manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson during spring training, and Gardenhire has hinted several times that he wouldn't mind having Gibson on his major league staff.

But Gibson's performance began to suffer in late May. He went 16 days between his starts on June 30 and July 17. In his last eight games, he is 0-5 with a 6.47 ERA.

Gibson could not be reached for comment Wednesday. His agent, Randy Rowley, said they could know more Thursday if one of the Twins doctors is able to read the MRI exam.

"After what he's been through, you just hope for the best," Rowley said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much optimism do you have in the Twins today?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close