Twins envision Gibson as top-of-rotation arm

Twins envision Gibson as top-of-rotation arm

CHICAGO -- Kyle Gibson opened the season toward the back end of the Twins' rotation, but he's slowly emerged as one of the club's top starters.

A first-round pick in 2009, Gibson had 11 quality starts in 20 tries entering Sunday -- including seven in which he's held the opposition scoreless.

But in his non-quality starts, Gibson has allowed five or more runs eight times, and averaged under five innings per outing.

"We're still working on the consistency part," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "His stuff is really good. A great angle. He feels he belongs now, and I think he has a lot of confidence now. It's just about going out and doing it on a day-to-day basis when you get the ball."

Gardenhire went on to say that Gibson, 26, could emerge as the team's ace.

"We think he's going to head our rotation for a few years to come," Gardenhire said.

The Twins have maintained a five-man rotation since an injury to Opening Day starter Ricky Nolasco, with Gibson and Phil Hughes at the top.

Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.