Gibson, Hicks join Twins' 40-man roster

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 20, 2012 - 9:13 PM

The Twins added eight players to their 40-man roster Tuesday, including former first-round picks Kyle Gibson and Aaron Hicks.

Tuesday was the deadline for teams to protect eligible players from the Dec. 6 Rule 5 draft by placing them on the roster. The Twins also added catcher Josmil Pinto, shortstop Daniel Santana, starting pitcher B.J. Hermsen and relievers Michael Tonkin, Caleb Thielbar and Tim Wood.

The 40-man roster is now full.

Gibson, 25, the No. 22 overall pick in the 2009 draft, will be competing for a spot in the Opening Day rotation. He had Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery on his right elbow on Sept. 7, 2011, but proved he was healthy by going 3-2 with a 5.40 ERA in the Arizona Fall League.

Hicks, 23, was the No. 14 overall pick in the 2008 draft. He probably won't start next April with the big league club, but he'll be a prime candidate for a mid-season promotion. He's a well-polished center fielder and a switch hitter, who batted .286 with 13 home runs, 32 stolen bases and an .844 OPS (on-base-plus-slugging percentage) last year at Class AA New Britain.

Santana, 22, batted .286 with eight home runs, 17 stolen bases and a .739 OPS at Class A Fort Myers.

Pinto, 23, batted .295 with 14 home runs and an .844 OPS in 105 games between Class A and Class AA.

Hermsen, 22, the team's minor-league pitcher of the year, opened the season at Fort Myers and wound up going 11-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 22 starts for Class AA New Britain.

Tonkin, 23, who is the brother-in-law of former Twins outfielder Jason Kubel, racked up 97 strikeouts this year in 69 1/3 innings between Class A Beloit and Class A Fort Myers.

Thielbar, 25, a lefthander who pitched for the St. Paul Saints in 2011, climbed quickly through the Twins minor-league system this year and posted a 3.57 ERA in 25 appearances for Class AAA Rochester.

Wood, 30, who signed a minor-league deal with the Twins earlier this month, posted a 2.19 ERA with 21 saves for Class AAA Indianapolis (Pirates).

Minor-league signings

The Twins also announced 10 players who've been signed to minor-league deals with invitations to big league camp: pitchers Samuel Deduno, Shairon Martis, Luis Perdomo, Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters; outfielders Brian Dinkleman and Wilkin Ramirez; infielders James Beresford and Deibinson Romero and catcher Eric Fryer.

Spring schedule

Twins pitchers and catchers will report to Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 12 with the first exhibition game slated for Feb. 23. Those dates are earlier than most years, partly because the World Baseball Classic will be played during camp again next spring, and partly because the regular-season opener comes April 1 against Detroit at Target Field.

The Twins will play 19 of their 34 spring training games at their home ballpark, Hammond Stadium, starting Feb. 24 against the Rays. Minnesota's last Grapefruit League game will be played March 30 at Boston's spring training site.

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