Kyle Gibson will get another chance to show what's he capable of in Friday's series opener between the Twins and Royals in Kansas City.
The right-hander had a nice spring training but has started the regular season with four subpar starts, including a disaster in his last outing against the Tigers where he allowed seven runs before getting yanked with two outs in the third inning. If he struggles again Friday it will be tough to consider Gibson a better option than right-hander Jose Berrios, who is once again toying with minor-league hitters at Triple-A Rochester.
The big question with Berrios is whether his arsenal of pitches will be effective at the MLB level.
In 14 starts with the Twins last season, Berrios posted an ugly 8.02 ERA and struggled with his control. It led to 74 hits and 35 walks allowed in just 58.1 innings. Through four starts at Triple-A this season, Berrios has a 1.44 ERA with 28 strikeouts and only six walks in 25 innings.
But Minnesota appears intent on waiting until they are absolutely certain Berrios will be here to stay the next time he's called up.
“It’s a development thing for him, and we want to make sure more so than in the past when we’ve needed to call him up, we didn’t have any better options," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said in a recent interview with Darren Wolfson. "And that might not have even been fair to him. But now we have some depth and we have some guys that are doing well, so we can leave him there until we believe he’s ready to be one of our five starters and go from there.”
— MeGustanLosDeportes (@GustanDeportes) April 9, 2017
If the Twins aren't ready to bring back Berrios, another option would be 28-year-old right-hander Nick Tepesch. He's struck out 20 and walked only four while allowing four earned runs in three starts at Rochester. He also has three years of MLB experience under his belt, including two years with the Rangers while Twins GM Thad Levine was in Texas.
Minnesota demoted lefty Adalberto Mejia to Triple-A after his last start and they can keep him there while they work with a four-man rotation while the schedule allows.