ARLINGTON -- The buzz around the Twins on Thursday came on the Minor League front, where right-hander Kyle Gibson will start Saturday for Triple-A Rochester. He is expected to throw 60 to 65 pitches.Gibson, the Twins' first-round pick in 2009, will pitch at his highest level since having Tommy John surgery in September. He has made nine starts this summer between the Twins' Rookie League team and Class A Fort Myers, putting together a 2.49 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. The plan is for Gibson to pitch for the Red Wings for the last two weeks of the season, and then potentially the playoffs. After that, the hope is for him to throw in the Florida Instructional League and then the Arizona Fall League. "We want to try to get him as many innings as we can," said Twins assistant general manager Ron Antony. Antony said Gibson, not currently on the 40-man roster, is a candidate to pitch in Major League camp in Spring Training next year, if all goes well with his progress. "We're going to be looking for pitching," Antony said.
Diamond, Gardenhire are ejected in Texas
ARLINGTON -- Twins left-hander Scott Diamond and manager Ron Gardenhire were ejected by home-plate umpire Wally Bell in the bottom of the third inning of Thursday's 10-6 loss to the Rangers after Diamond threw a pitch that sailed behind Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton's head.Diamond's errant pitch came after Rangers starter Roy Oswalt hit Twins catcher Joe Mauer in the upper back in the top of the inning on a 3-0 count, but no warnings were given. Bell immediately ejected Diamond after the pitch, and Gardenhire argued very briefly before he earned the 62nd ejection of his 11-year career, and the third this season.
It was the rookie Diamond's first career ejection.
Span back in the Twins' lineup
ARLINGTON -- Center fielder Denard Span was back in the Twins' lineup for Thursday's series opener against the Rangers, a pleasant surprise for manager Ron Gardenhire."It is wonderful," Gardenhire said. "After early batting practice, he went in and did some lifting and afterward said he was ready to play. So I changed the lineup and put him in there. I have no problem with that. That's what we would want." Span said he came to the ballpark not expecting to play, but the warm weather in Texas might have loosened him up. Span felt sore Wednesday after taking batting practice on Tuesday, but said that subsided when he took some swings before Thursday's game. "I feel like it's a good idea to play today," Span said. "I've been working in the cages the last few days, throwing me curve balls and sliders." Span had missed the Twins' previous nine games since diving for a fly ball in center field on Aug. 12 against the Tampa Bay Rays.
Twins will discuss Sept. callups after road trip
ARLINGTON -- Manager Ron Gardenhire said the Twins' brain trust hasn't discussed September callups yet, and it probably won't be a topic of discussion until the club gets home after this four-game series in Texas.Gardenhire said the moves will be made after he talks with general manager Terry Ryan and assistant GM Ron Antony. "When we get home for four days after this trip, we'll probably discuss it a little bit and see what [Ryan's] thoughts are," Gardenhire said. The Twins could go with a six-man rotation and bring in Esmerling Vasquez, who has had a solid season at Triple-A Rochester. Triple-A infielder Chris Parmelee and Double-A outfielder Oswaldo Arcia could also be called up, but only if they can get regular playing time. "We don't want to bring up anyone who is just going to sit," Antony said.
Outfielder Ben Revere is one stolen base away from becoming the fourth Twins player to steal at least 30 bases in consecutive seasons. He would join Chuck Knoblauch, Rod Carew and Cesar Tovar. Liam Hendricks' loss Wednesday in Oakland made him the first Twins pitcher to lose his first eight decisions as a starter, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Designated hitter Josh Willingham was on MLB Network with Chris Rose and Kevin Millar before Thursday's game, and it was must-see TV in the Twins clubhouse. Willingham talked about his three sons and had some fun with teammate Denard Span.
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.