FORT MYERS, FLA. – If Tuesday was any indication, Kyle Gibson is ready to start the regular season.
The Twins righthander threw six scoreless innings for Class AAA Rochester in a game against Durham, not giving up a hit after the second inning. He faced one batter over the minimum, throwing 95 pitches.
He eventually found a good, quick rhythm and stayed with it.
“It was more crisp after the second inning,” he said.
Since the Twins were off Tuesday, Gibson went to the minor league side to stay on schedule. The plan is for him to have one more tuneup outing before the games count.
“At times, there were pitches that I wasn’t happy with,” he said. “The changeup was probably as bad as it was all spring. Then it got a little better toward the end. For me, it was about getting to the sixth, getting to 90 pitches and feeling healthy.”
Bobby Wilson came over from the major league camp to catch Gibson.
Gibson will be part of a rotation that includes Jose Berrios, Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn. Twins manager Paul Molitor, who watched the outing Tuesday, is close to setting the rotation and announcing how soon he will use a fifth starter. That will affect Phil Hughes’ chances of making the Opening Day roster.
The Twins have signed all of their players with zero to three years of experience — a group that includes Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler — to one-year contracts. The club did not renew any contracts, which happens when the sides can’t agree on a one-year deal.
The Twins are expected to approach some of their young players, such as Buxton, about multiyear deals this season.
The Twins will play host to Pittsburgh on Wednesday. Berrios will start for the Twins while righthander Trevor Williams will start for the Pirates.