Notes from spring training: Gibson's fastball lights up radar gun

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Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune file

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FORT MYERS, FLA. - Kyle Gibson just laughed at the idea. His fastball was clocked at 96 miles per hour?

"Oh my ... I think they got a Jugs gun in the stadium," the 2009 first-round pick said after throwing two scoreless innings vs. Tampa Bay on Sunday.

Gibson might credit his speed to the brand of radar gun, but a scout in the Hammond Stadium crowd had it at 95 mph, so whatever the exact number, it was fast.

"Right now, it seemed like 106," joked Joe Mauer. "Yeah, he was throwing the ball well, [with a] good angle. He had a heavy ball. First time I've caught him, so it was good to get out there and see him."

Gibson, a strong candidate for the Twins rotation, is glad for anyone to see him, after having a new ligament installed in his pitching elbow 17 months ago. "I'm pretty excited to be back out there. It's been a couple years since I was able to do that," the 25-year-old said of his first spring training outing. "It was a lot of fun."

If he keeps throwing in the mid-90s, it's going to be fun for the Twins, too.

Walters sharp

The Twins held a six-inning intrasquad game Sunday morning to give younger players in camp a chance to show their stuff. A team led by P.J. Walters beat a team led by fellow righthander Trevor May 4-3.

Walters looked particularly smooth as he threw two scoreless innings, and he was matched by May. Righthander Alex Meyer also posted two scoreless innings but labored some in his second inning. Righthander B.J. Hermsen struggled, giving up three runs over two innings.

Jose Berrios needed 40 pitches for his two-inning outing. Caleb Thielbar, a former St. Paul Saints lefthander from Randolph, Minn., gave up a run in an inning of work.

Brian Dinkelman went 2-for-3 with double. Third baseman James Beresford made a fine diving grab of Darin Mastroianni's hot grounder, throwing him out.

Etc.

• The Twins scheduled a B game at Boston's JetBlue Park across town Thursday as they look for ways to make sure pitchers in camp are evaluated off game action. The coaches will attend that game, then return to Hammond Stadium for the regular game vs. Baltimore.

• Third baseman Trevor Plouffe will play Tuesday after making a full recovery from a strained right calf. He was ready to play Sunday, but the Twins decided to give him extra time. "I feel like a dog that's been told we're going for a walk, and then everyone leaves," Plouffe said. "I'm in here ripping the couch to shreds."

• Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia will miss at least a week because of a strain of his left intercostal muscle, General Manager Terry Ryan said.

• Lefthander Scott Diamond threw another light bullpen session as he comes back from surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow.

Up next

Righthander Vance Worley tests his pitching elbow for the first time since having bone spurs removed in September. He will face the Pirates at Hammond Stadium.

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