Recently I had the opportunity to speak with Twins pitching prospect Kyle Gibson. We met before a game against the Fisher Cats in New Hampshire.
CF: Let’s start with the injury report just before the 2009 draft, how did you actually find out about it?
KG: Through the last couple of weeks I sensed that something was wrong, but I was still able to pitch, so it wasn’t a big deal. I was sort of losing velocity the last couple of weeks
It was one of those things that I still wanted to play and I knew if I went to see a doctor he would tell me something was wrong and I wouldn’t be able to play. So the last couple of weeks I decided to stick it out a bit. You know I learned a lot about the type of pitcher I was. I was throwing 82-84(mph) and I had to use a lot of off speed (pitches).
CF: Was there one specific thing that caused the injury or just kind of a fluke thing?
KG: A little bit of both. The doctor said it was from throwing a lot a lot of fatigue, you know it’s a long season. If I had to go back I wouldn’t trade anything it was a lot of fun.
CF: How do you feel that affected your draft status obviously still first round, but a little deeper than people projected?
KG: Yeah, well it might have held me back ten picks or whatever it was, but in the end I got picked by a really good team so I’m very excited about it.
CF: What was your rehab like, what did you have to do?
KG: You know really it was a lot of rest. The doctor said take eight to ten weeks off so that’s what I did. Near the end of the eight weeks I did some shoulder stuff and some forearm strengthening to get ready.
CF: How excited were you to end up with the Minnesota team with proven success in developing young talent from their farm system?
KG: I was really excited about it. A team that likes young pitching, and likes to use young pitching. That’s good thing for me because I’m a young pitcher who likes to throw strikes.
CF: Obviously a great start at the beginning of the year at Fort Myers leading to an early promotion, what do you credit for your success so far?
KG: Just throwing strikes. Try not to walk people. As of late I’ve been walking guys, but try to throw as many strikes make the hitter have to make a decision and force the action on them. If you do that most of the time they’ll get themselves out and you’ll throw a pitch really good. It’s about using the defense and the defense down there did a really good job just like they are here.
CF: What would you say the biggest difference is coming from the Florida State league up to the Eastern League?
KG: These guys don’t miss mistakes very often. Basically if you throw twenty mistakes in a high “A” game maybe 5-10 of them will get hit. If you do that up here 10-15 of them are going to get hit pretty hard. So it’s just about trying to focus and take these hitters seriously and try to limit your mistakes.
CF: Are you expecting to be called up to Rochester or Minnesota, have you heard anything, or are you waiting here a little bit?
KG: No, I haven’t really heard anything; I still have a lot of work to do before I’m ready
for either of those levels. You know whenever I’m ready they’ll tell me. They’ve seen all the levels that are in the organization a lot more than I have. So they’ll know when I’m ready they’ll put me up there.
CF: Do you have any goals you’d like to accomplish for the rest of the season?
KG: I just want to pitch. Just what the pitching coordinator is telling us just everybody have a good August finish strong on a good note. I’m going to try to go out there just like I have, try to get as many chances to win, go as deep in the game as I can ,try not to walk people and try to throw strikes.