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Updated: June 20th, 2012 11:00pm
Notebook: July 31 could determine Doumit's future; A plan for Gibson

Notebook: July 31 could determine Doumit's future; A plan for Gibson

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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The longer the Minnesota Twins continue to flounder double-digit games below .500, the more likely it becomes that players on the current 25-man roster will be traded away before the July 31 deadline.

One of those potential trade candidates is catcher Ryan Doumit, who the Twins signed to a one-year, $3 million contract in November.

A source close to Doumit said this week that the 31-year-old has enjoyed playing in Minnesota and has interest in returning next season, but as of Wednesday no discussions had taken place between the Twins and Doumit's agent about a possible contract extension.

There's a sense the Twins are waiting to see if Doumit fits into their plans after the trade deadline.

Doumit, a switch-hitter, entered Wednesday hitting .253/.314/.409 with six home runs and 30 RBIs. He has been much better from the left side of the plate, hitting .266/.340/.430, as opposed to .224/.254/.362 from the right. In 24 games behind the plate he has thrown out only four of 19 potential base-stealers (21%), but his presence has allowed the Twins to field a better lineup top to bottom.

Including his seven years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Doumit owns a .270/.332/.439 career batting line with 73 home runs.

Gibson's path mapped out

Earlier this week, right-hander Kyle Gibson tweeted he is on pace to pitch in a game on July 10 for the first time since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September.

On Wednesday, Gibson elaborated on his rehab process in an interview with Kris Atteberry on the Twins Radio Network.

The 24-year-old right-hander said he is currently throwing only fastballs and changeups in his bullpen sessions, but the plan is to mix in breaking balls soon. Gibson will throw two more weeks of side bullpen sessions, a week-and-a-half of live bullpens against hitters, then will debut in the Gulf Coast League on July 10 if all goes well.

He is tentatively scheduled to throw 16-17 innings in the GCL before the end of July, ramping up to three or four innings in his last couple outings, then it's likely he'll climb up to Single-A Fort Myers -- or elsewhere.

Again, this is all dependent on Gibson continuing on the same path.

"I think they have had to reign me in a little bit, only because I've felt really good through most of this process," Gibson told Atteberry. "And when I go out there and feel good throwing I just want to throw a little bit more, or throw a little bit harder. I think that's the hardest part off the mound is trying to keep it around 60 to 70 percent for the first couple weeks.

"Yesterday I probably threw a little bit too much. I did a little long toss back to 190 feet and I could feel it today. I was definitely a little bit more sore. So I think that's just something where I have to feel myself out and make sure I listen to my arm. ...

"As I am anxious to get with a team and get out on the field, I understand that there's no skipping steps right now. And right now it's as important as ever to make sure I stay focused on what I'm doing and making sure I'm working on my pitches so that when it is time to get back on the field that I can be competitive."

Former Saint knocking on door

The Rochester Red Wings placed right-handed relievers Carlos Gutierrez (right shoulder) and Lester Oliveros (right elbow) on the seven-day disabled list on Wednesday. Gutierrez already missed 34 games earlier this year with a strained right labrum. Oliveros was called up briefly last week when the Twins needed bullpen depth.

Taking their spots on the 25-man roster are right-hander Bobby Lanigan and left-hander Caleb Thielbar, who were promoted from Double-A New Britain.

Lanigan was a third-round pick by the Twins in 2008, but Thielbar was signed by the Twins from the St. Paul Saints late last season. Thielbar, who was originally an 18th-round pick by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2009, owns a 1.21 ERA with 42 strikeouts, five walks and only one home run allowed in 37 1/3 innings out of the bullpen between High-A Fort Myers and New Britain.

In 49 2/3 innings for the Saints last season Thielbar posted a 2.54 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 15 walks.

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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