MIAMI -- Kyle Gibson is finally in the Majors.
Gibson, the second-ranked pitcher and No. 4 overall prospect in the Twins' farm system, was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday to replace lefty Pedro Hernandez, who was optioned to Rochester following Sunday's game.
He will make his first start on Saturday against the Royals at Target Field.
"It's starting to kick in now," Gibson said during batting practice on Tuesday. "I went out on the field and got to play catch and got to throw a 'pen. Everyone was so welcoming when I came in, shook my hand and said, 'Congrats.' It's a dream come true."
The right-hander's promotion provides a much-needed boost to Minnesota's starting rotation, which ranked last in the Majors with a 5.23 ERA entering Tuesday. Gibson is 7-5 with a 3.01 ERA, and he has held opponents to a .229 batting average in 15 starts with the Red Wings.
Gibson's promotion also comes on the heels of a social media blitz by Twins fans, many of whom have tweeted and printed t-shirts with the slogan, "Free Gibson."
Minnesota has made an effort not to rush Gibson, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow on Sept. 7, 2011.
"They thought I needed a couple more weeks, and I'm glad they gave it to me, because I was able to really sharpen some things up and work on some things," Gibson said. "My fastball command's a lot better. I'm not being as fine, and I'm going from the middle of the plate to the corners, rather than starting in halves and starting in the corners."
Part of the effort to ease Gibson into the big leagues was the Twins' decision to have him join the team five days before his first scheduled start. Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire described the club's approach with Gibson as "a really good thing."
"We get all of the prelim stuff out of the way," Gardenhire said. "Let him throw a bullpen session. Let him sit on the bench and watch some Major League baseball games, and that'll help."
Gibson added: "I'm thankful they gave me five days to come up here and kind of get my feet wet."
While Gibson is grateful that he can focus primarily on establishing his routine for a couple of days, both he and the Twins know that the real first step comes on Saturday.
"I don't really know that I can prepare myself too much for that," Gibson said. "That's the one thing that's going to be the most exciting thing. That's probably going to be one of the most exciting things -- leaving that dugout at 3:10 and heading out to field and hoping that I can throw that first pitch right down the middle and get it out of the way."
"Nothing's going to take the place of him walking out to the mound for the first time and stepping out on the mound," said Gardenhire.
Gardenhire would like DH in all Interleague Play
MIAMI -- The Twins' two-game set against the Marlins marks the final time Minnesota will play in a National League park for the remainder of the regular season.
Count Twins manager Ron Gardenhire as someone who is happy with this schedule. Like his fellow American League managers, Gardenhire loses his designated hitter and is forced to bat his pitchers when facing NL opponents on the road.
"When they come to an American League ballpark, they get to add a player," Gardenhire said. "And we, basically, are doing just the opposite. We're putting a pitcher in the lineup and taking out a DH. It does make a difference."
In order to neutralize the difference, Gardenhire suggested that the designated hitter should be implemented for all Interleague games, regardless of venue.
"Let the DH play in both games -- in our park and in their park," Gardenhire said. "I think if they're going to continue [season-long Interleague play], I wouldn't mind seeing [them] just use the DH the whole time. I know it's never going to happen. There's too many people that believe in the no-DH system. I was part of that National League stuff, too. But I would like the idea if they just go DH all the time for Interleague play."
Gardenhire has no issue with pitchers hitting in NL games. He spent his entire five-year MLB career with the Mets.
According to Gardenhire, implementing the DH rule in all Interleague games would benefit both teams.
"Make it the same for both teams," he said. "We play our style, and they play our style. No one's losing anything there. Teams gain. ...
"So, you still set it up with a guy that's just basically a hitter. Over there, they use them as pinch-hitters. We use them as a DH. And your team over there is set up with a couple of good pinch-hitters."
Gardenhire: Pelfrey will benefit from time off
Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey may be on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain, but manager Ron Gardenhire is not too worried.
In fact, Gardenhire believes Pelfrey will benefit from the time off.
"Especially coming back from Tommy John, this is probably a good time of the season to take a step back, miss a couple of starts," Gardenhire said. "He told me he's probably 90 percent. So, believe me, he won't miss much work."
Minnesota scratched Pelfrey from his scheduled start last Sunday and placed him on the 15-day disabled list after he suffered a back strain while running during batting practice on Saturday.
Left-hander Pedro Hernandez was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start in Pelfrey's place, and he earned the win in a 5-3 victory against the Indians. Hernandez gave up two runs on three hits with six walks and two strikeouts in five innings.
Pelfrey is 3-6 with a 6.11 ERA in 14 starts.
Gardenhire praises Redmond, his former player
MIAMI -- Not long after beginning his first season managing a Major League club, former Twins catcher and Marlins manager Mike Redmond faced his former skipper, Ron Gardenhire. On April 23, the teams split a doubleheader at Target Field.
Redmond played under Gardenhire from 2005-2009.
While Redmond and Miami sported the worst record in the Majors entering Tuesday (25-50), Gardenhire believes in Redmond's potential as the Marlins' skipper.
"[Catchers] see the whole field," Gardenhire said. "They sit back and watch the whole field. They watch where the infielders are moving to. Catchers are always involved in all the meetings and everything. They get to know hitters, they watch what hitters do at home plate.
"He was that. And the way he handled himself, the way the players responded to him and respected him made it real simple to know if he wanted to, that he would get into this side of it."
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.