5/22/2013 2:27 A.M. ET
Deduno picked to start Friday in Detroit
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ATLANTA -- Right-hander Samuel Deduno, not prospect Kyle Gibson, will start against the Tigers on Friday at Comerica Park.
The Twins still need to make the roster move official by placing Deduno on the 25- and 40-man rosters. They'll make corresponding moves before Friday's game with Darin Mastroianni or Tim Wood the likely candidates to be placed on the 60-day disabled list to clear room on the 40-man roster.
Deduno, who was slated to start for Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, was chosen over Gibson, right-hander P.J. Walters and left-hander Andrew Albers. Deduno threw a bullpen on Tuesday instead of starting for the Red Wings and will join the team Thursday night in Detroit.
"We had four very good options," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "Gibson had two of three good outings, but we want to see more consistency. Let him back it up a few times. So we went with Deduno. But Walters was pitching well and so was Albers. But we discussed it and thought the best matchup for Detroit was Deduno."
Deduno, 29, made 15 starts for the Twins last year, posting a 4.44 ERA with 57 strikeouts and 53 walks in 79 innings. He also faced the Tigers twice, giving up three runs with six strikeouts over seven innings at Target Field on Aug. 13, and surrendering seven runs on seven hits over 2 1/3 innings at Comerica Park on Sept. 22.
Deduno likely would have made the club's rotation to start the season after starring for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, but he injured his groin in the title game and began the season on the DL. He returned to action on May 5 and posted a 2.70 ERA in three starts with Rochester with 17 strikeouts and 10 walks over 16 2/3 innings.
"He's been throwing good," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We saw him for the World games and he got hurt but he's back out there striking people out. You're going to get a guy who puts some fear in people's hearts. He can wing it and snap off some stuff off. I don't think he's afraid of going against those big boys in Detroit."
Gibson, ranked as the Twins' No. 4 prospect and No. 49 overall prospect by MLB.com, was also a top candidate, as he's thrown shutouts in two of his last three outings with Rochester. But the 25-year-old has yet to throw back-to-back quality starts in his nine outings this year despite an impressive 3.25 ERA and 46 strikeouts and just 14 walks in 52 2/3 innings.
"He's had one good start, one bad start, one good start, one bad start, so we're looking for him hopefully to put together some starts before we bring him up," Gardenhire said. "Because with that guy, you want to call him up so that he stays here. And right now he's just not there."
Antony also dismissed the notion that Gibson wasn't called up for service time or arbitration reasons, as he pointed to rookies Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia as examples of players called up early in the season by the Twins without any regard to service time. "If he's good enough, it doesn't matter," Antony said.
Plouffe exits game after getting kicked in head
ATLANTA -- Third baseman Trevor Plouffe left Tuesday's game against the Braves in the 10th inning after being kicked in the head by second baseman Dan Uggla while trying to break up a double play.
Plouffe reached first after being hit by a 97-mph fastball from Braves closer Craig Kimbrel before Ryan Doumit hit a potential double-play ball to shortstop Andrelton Simmons. But Plouffe was hit directly in the head by Uggla's knee while sliding into second and remained on the ground in pain.
Twins trainer Tony Leo came out to look at Plouffe, who was able to walk off the field but was removed for Eduardo Escobar at third base in the bottom of the inning.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Plouffe was being tested for concussion symptoms after the game but he hadn't heard the results yet.
"He got hit hard," Gardenhire said. "They're doing testing on him right now. He took a knee to the head and I think you guys all saw it. So they're doing testing right now and we'll know more later."
Thielbar very popular after impressive debut
ATLANTA -- By the time Caleb Thielbar checked his phone after making his Major League debut against the Braves on Monday night, he already had 81 text messages.
Thielbar said the overall count of texts and phone messages was well over 100 after his impressive debut. The left-handed reliever tossed two scoreless innings, retiring six in a row after a leadoff single, and struck out three.
"I've just been catching up on texts and calls from people," Thielbar said. "But it sunk in last night when I was on the mound. It was a lot of fun."
Thielbar, a Minnesota native who attended Randolph (Minn.) High School and South Dakota State University, said it was especially cool pitching for his hometown team. He was pitching for the independent league St. Paul Saints just two years ago before being signed by the Twins.
"It's been quite a journey, I'll tell you that much," Thielbar said. "The competition there was actually really good. We had a lot of good players on our team and I learned a lot. I don't think my time with the Saints hurt me. That's for sure."
Carroll starts at second, Doumit in right field
ATLANTA -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire shook up his lineup Tuesday night against the Braves, as Jamey Carroll got the start at second base and hit leadoff while Ryan Doumit made his first start of the year in right field.
Carroll has been swinging the bat well in May, hitting .306 with a .375 on-base percentage in nine games, while Brian Dozier has struggled with a .154 average and .185 on-base percentage in 13 games this month. But Carroll went 0-for-5 in Tuesday's 5-4, extra-inning loss, and is now batting .279 on the year.
Doumit has also been swinging better of late, hitting .263 with three homers and two doubles over his last 11 games. He went 2-for-5 with a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth on Tuesday.
"We got Doumit out there in right field and he hasn't played there this year but he's done it in the past -- I wanted his bat in the lineup," Gardenhire said. "And I got Jamey Carroll in there because he's been having good at-bats and getting on base."
The start in right was a rare one for Doumit, who last started there on May 4, 2012. It was Doumit's 61st career start in right.
"My biggest concern is my backup catcher is in right field, and if I want to strengthen my defense I can't do it," Gardenhire said. "He's going to have to play nine innings out there and not make any adjustments out there. But I wanted to get his bat in the lineup because we need to score some runs."
Gardenhire's family OK after tornado
ATLANTA -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, an Okmulgee, Okla., native, said his family was unaffected by Monday's tornado that hit the Oklahoma City suburbs and took the lives of at least 24 people.
Gardenhire said his family lives closer to Tulsa and that they came out of the tornado fine, but he was saddened by the events of the devastating tornado.
"My family is about 25 miles south of Tulsa, which is about an hour or hour and half from OKC," Gardenhire said. "They've been in the storm cellar for two days. Luckily nothing happened. They're OK. But it's sad stuff."
Right-hander Nick Blackburn, who is currently rehabbing his surgically repaired right wrist, is a Del City, Okla., native and was back home in Washington, Okla., with his family when the tornado hit. But he was unaffected by the twister, as it hit north of where he lives.
"He's still in Oklahoma but wasn't affected at all," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said.