The Twins announced today they’ve placed right-hander Kyle Gibson on the 10-day injured list with ulcerative colitis. Rookie left-hander Lewis Thorpe is up from Triple-A Rochester in addition to a long list of previously-announced September call-ups.
It’s unexpected and unfortunate news for Gibson, who has continued to look the part of a solid mid-rotation starter for Minnesota this year. Gibson’s 4.58 ERA is almost a run higher than the 3.62 mark he pitched to in 2018, but his peripherals pegged him as a low-4.00’s ERA talent in each season. Gibson’s never been a huge strikeout artist, but his 22% strikeout rate this season is a career-best, as is his 7% walk rate.
There’s no indication yet that Gibson’s condition will affect him long-term, although there’s evidently no hope of an immediate return. With rosters expanding in September, there would have been little harm in keeping Gibson active if the organization believed whatsoever he could return in fewer than ten days.
If the absence were to knock Gibson out for an extended period of time, it’d be a tough blow for player and team alike. The 31 year-old looks like a fringe qualifying offer candidate as he prepares to enter free agency for the first time, so this news could at least give interested suitors pause. Minnesota, meanwhile, is holding a strong (but not insurmountable) 4.5 game advantage in the AL Central. Even if they do hold onto the division title, they’ll need all the pitching they can get as they prepare for a first-round matchup with the Astros or Yankees.