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Updated: March 14th, 2011 8:20am
Kyle Gibson, Joe Benson among first cuts as Twins trim from 59 to 45

Kyle Gibson, Joe Benson among first cuts as Twins trim from 59 to 45

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Minnesota Twins trimmed the spring training roster from 59 to 45 on Monday.

Included in the first round of cuts were 2009 first-round pick Kyle Gibson, who retired all five batters he faced Sunday, and 2010 Twins minor league hitter of the year Joe Benson, who was 4-for-24 with a triple and two walks until missing the last few games with a strained quad.

Gardenhire has made no secret about his affinity for Gibson's pitching abilities, hinting several times over the last two weeks that he'd like the right-hander to be in the competition for the fifth starter slot with Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey.

Calling Gibson up before May, however, could result in him gaining "Super-Two" arbitration status, meaning he would be eligible for salary arbitration after two years instead of three.

Swapping one full year of service time for six weeks of Gibson in April and May probably isn't a wise tradeoff for the organization, despite the fact that the 23-year-old seems to be very close to being major-league ready.

Also among the cuts were right-handed pitchers David Bromberg, Eric Hacker and Anthony Swarzak, and outfielder Rene Tosoni, who were all optioned to Class-AAA.

Right-handed pitcher Deolis Guerra, along with infielder Chris Parmelee and outfielder Benson were optioned to Class-AA.

Among those re-assigned to minor-league camp were right-handers Yorman Bazardo and Gibson, catchers Jair Fernandez and Chris Herrmann, and infielders Ray Chang, Brian Dozier and Justin Huber.

The Twins now have 21 pitchers in camp (four non-roster), six catchers (four non-roster), 10 infielders (two non-roster) and eight outfielders (two non-roster).

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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