MIAMI – Righthander Kyle Gibson, one of the Twins’ top pitching prospects, joined the club Monday after being called up from Class AAA Rochester.
“I got to the hotel about 6 p.m.,” Gibson said. “I saw Ryan Pressly and P.J. Walters in the lobby and we went to dinner. Pretty easy day.”
First day as a major leaguer. An off day in Miami. Can’t get much better than that.
The Twins and Gibson hope there will be several more good days this week before he makes his major league debut Saturday against the Royals at Target Field. Being called up early in the week allows Gibson to throw in the bullpen in front of pitching coach Rick Anderson, get settled in with his teammates and get on his normal program between starts.
“I’m thankful they gave me five days to come up and get my feet wet, it was nice to play catch and throw a couple bullpens,” Gibson said. “I’m just going to learn from [Scott] Diamond and P.J. and the other starters on kind of what they do between starts, watch video, try to figure that system out, try to figure out the scouting reports. Really just start from today and stay on my five-day routine I was on in Rochester.”
Gibson hasn’t pitched since Thursday. He threw in the bullpen Sunday moments before he was told of his promotion. He threw in the bullpen Tuesday and will throw once again Thursday before his start.
Ryan Doumit, who twisted his right ankle in the ninth inning Sunday, was doing better Tuesday and pinch hit in the ninth inning. But is he ready to start behind the plate Wednesday?
Manager Ron Gardenhire prefers that Joe Mauer not catch the day after catching a night game, so Wednesday’s 11:40 a.m. start would call for Doumit to work behind the plate. But Gardenhire is worried about putting Doumit in that situation because of his ankle.
“My concerns are [Doumit] catching [Wednesday] for a day game, if he would be able to do that,” Gardenhire said. “I’ll have to see. Have to see how my other catcher does [Tuesday], then go from there.”
The Twins have played in Miami only once before, in 2007. That ended up being an action-filled weekend series at what was then called Dolphin Stadium.
On June 22, Justin Morneau bruised a lung and was coughing up blood after a collision at the plate with Marlins catcher Miguel Olivo. Morneau had to be taken by ambulance to a hospital and was lost for five games.
Morneau hasn’t forgotten the play. Jason Kubel hit a line drive into the left-field corner. Morneau was pulling into third, but Marlins outfielder Josh Willingham — yes, that Josh Willingham — bobbled the ball. So Morneau was waved home, where he tried to lower his shoulder into Olivo but got the worst of it.
“Willingham screwed up a ball in the corner, or I wouldn’t have tried to score on that,” Morneau said.
Two days later, Gardenhire and outfielder Michael Cuddyer were ejected by home plate umpire Larry Young after Cuddyer argued a called third strike. But the Twins won 7-4 as Mauer hit two home runs and Johan Santana hit a triple.
• Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, who experienced concussion symptoms last week during a rehabilitation stint at Class A Fort Myers, felt much better Tuesday. “We’ll see how the next few days go,” said Rob Antony, Twins assistant general manager.
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