Kyle Gibson, RHP, Twins (24) (Peoria): GS, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 8 K.
Minnesota’s top pick in the 2009 draft out of Missouri, Gibson reached Triple-A in his first full season and was primed to make his big-league debut in 2011 before a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow required Tommy John surgery and knocked him out until the second half of 2012. Gibson returned to make 11 starts across three levels last summer, including a pair of mixed outings at Triple-A Rochester. Optimistic observers see a pitcher who, when healthy, has excellent command of a four-pitch arsenal and the upside of a number-two starter, while doubters downgrade Gibson because he doesn’t own a true strikeout pitch and has proven to be hittable since reaching the upper minors.
- Seth Blair, RHP, Cardinals (23) (Surprise): GS, 3.0 IP, H, R, 2 BB, 5 K. Blair missed nearly four months of the season with a hand injury and wasn’t particularly effective upon his return to High-A Palm Beach in August. (1-3, 5.40 ERA, 12-14 K-BB in 16.2 IP).
- Nick Castellanos, RF/3B, Tigers (20) (Mesa): 2-for-5, HR (1), 2 K. Castellanos finished the season hitting .183/.272/.238 in August and September; struggles coincided with a shift from third base to right field.
- Brian Flynn, LHP, Marlins (22): GS, 3.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, K. Acquired by Miami in the July deal that shipped Anibal Sanchez to Detroit, Flynn recovered some of his lost velocity this year but needs to refine his secondary offerings to stay in the rotation.
- Brian Goodwin, CF/DH, Nationals (21) (Salt River): 2-for-4, HR (2), K. Leads the AFL with two home runs in as many days.
- Kyle Kaminska, RHP, Pirates (24) (Scottsdale): GS, 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 K. A former starting pitcher who converted to relief in 2010, Kaminska was moved back into the rotation at Double-A after being acquired by Pittsburgh in the Gaby Sanchez trade. He succeeds with plus command of an average fastball and so-so slider, a repertoire that profiles better in relief.
- Jacob Realmuto, C, Marlins (22) (Phoenix): 0-for-3, K. Had a rough night in his AFL debut, committing a throwing error and allowing base runners to go three-for-three in stolen base attempts while also going 0-for-3 with a strikeout at the plate.
- Dae-Eun Rhee, RHP, Cubs (23) (Mesa): GS, 2.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, BB, 2 K. Wasn’t able to miss many bats with an average fastball in his Double-A debut (4.9 K/9 in 142.1 IP) and only fanned a batter per inning in four of his 26 starts.
- Nick Tropeano, RHP, Astros (22) (Mesa): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 K. Continues to pitch well, carrying over his success from the end of the season into the AFL; went 12-7, 3.02 ERA, 166-47 K-BB in 158 innings between Low-A Lexington and High-A Lancaster.
RHP Ryan Perry (Nationals) continued his conversion from reliever to starter by throwing three innings of four-hit, two-run ball in Salt River’s 6-5 win over Scottsdale . . . SS Gift Ngoepe (Pirates) has played in all three of Scottsdale’s games thus far, entering two as a pinch runner and going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in the other.
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