Updated: May 29th, 2013 9:42pm
Strong start Thursday by Kyle Gibson could mean promotion, Ryan hints

Strong start Thursday by Kyle Gibson could mean promotion, Ryan hints

by Nate Sandell
1500ESPN.com
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The Minnesota Twins have been cautious in preventing key pitching prospect Kyle Gibson from being brought up too early, but his major league debut is inching closer towards reality.

Gibson was passed over twice last week in a pair of starting rotation shake-ups, watching the Twins promote Sam Deduno and P.J. Walters from Triple-A Rochester. In that week-long stretch, Gibson posted two stellar shutout starts, allowing only a combined five hits in 17 innings.

A replication of those performances in his start for the Red Wings on Thursday could put Gibson on the brink of receiving a call up.

"Hopefully he spins one up there tomorrow that gives us the confidence that, 'OK, that's three in a row. Let's go,'" Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Wednesday on 1500 ESPN's Judd and Dubay show.

Ryan, who freely admitted Gibson has a "higher ceiling" than both Deduno and Walters, has continued to insist that patience be granted in dealing with the 25-year-old right-hander.

The strong starts Gibson has produced this season have had the tendency to be followed by a poor outing. That inconsistency has been a key in the Twins' hesitancy to move forward with his promotion.

Before his recent two-game flash of dominance Gibson allowed four runs off seven hits to the Durham Bulls on May 14, lasting only three innings. But since then, he has reverted back to his high-end form in a notable fashion.

"I would like to see this be a little more frequent on his behalf," Ryan said. "About every other turn he is good. He's got some things to work on, but he's getting closer. Don't worry that he's not going to surface here. He will."

"But sometimes you have to make sure that when he does come up it's here to stay. I don't want him to have to go back."

Nate Sandell is a contributor to 1500ESPN.com.
Email Nate | @nsandell
In this story: P.J. Walters
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