Twins fans have pined for Kyle Gibson the way a thirsty cavalcade wandering through the desert longs for water. As the Twins' pitching went from good to bad to ugly over the past couple of years, Gibson's return from Tommy John surgery in 2011 -- and his inevitable MLB debut -- became urgent in the minds of fans. Add in the fact that he's a highly touted prospect throws in the mid-90s as opposed to the Twins' more recent brand of pitch-to-contact youngsters, and it was a genuine whirlwind of excitement and anticipation whipped up for Gibson.
And now? Well, now the real fun begins. Gibson is on his way to the big club and is slated to start Saturday against Kansas City at Target Field. He is about to cross that mythical line -- think of it like the magic cornfield in "Field of Dreams" -- where he goes from do-little-wrong prospect to instantly judged major leaguer.
His minor league numbers at Rochester this year were good -- 7-5, 3.01 ERA, including good outings lately -- and it makes a ton of sense for the Twins to get a look at him before they impose an innings limit because of his surgery comeback. Let's say he has 50 innings left in his season. Let's say that means he has roughly 8-9 starts up here.
The inclination will be to make all sorts of wild projections based on those handful of starts. Right now he's like a rookie backup QB who has never thrown a pass. All people know is that he's never thrown an interception, and they love him for all his promise. The transition onto the field of play is a beautiful, difficult, dangerous thing and Gibson will never be judged the same again after he throws his first Twins pitch.
But let's try to let this process play out. Watch the body of work and the progress instead of making snap decisions on Gibson (and we're not just saying that because people say he's our Twins twin).